A girl is standing cheerfully on the table with her arms wide open.

Helsinki Design Week spreads across the city and online

The design festival Helsinki Design Week will be held on 9–19 September. You can see the diverse programme both online and around the city. The Culture Path and PechaKucha performances for schoolchildren and the Children’s Windows installation series are a part of the City of Helsinki’s programme at the festival.

This year, the theme of Helsinki Design Week is What is Wise? The definition of wisdom will be pondered through about 80 design events selected via an open application process. The programme includes things to see and do for both design professionals and all residents and visitors interested in design.

Unfortunately, the main event planned for Glasshouse Helsinki had to be cancelled due to the restrictions on gatherings set by the Regional State Administrative Agency. However, visits to showrooms and studios, smaller exhibitions, workshops for the whole family and walking tours will still be held safely with regard to the COVID-19 restrictions. The ever-popular Design Market will be held in brick-and-mortar shops and online on 10–12 September.

Read about the programme of Helsinki Design Week

Children’s Windows will take over Helsinki city centre

As a part of the programme of Children’s Design Week, the shop windows in Helsinki city centre will display an installation series combining design and the illustrations of children’s literature. The works will be created in front of the audience’s eyes. Designers and other creative professionals have been invited to create the installations. Joined by the best Nordic illustrators, they will design and compile installations while also making the design process visible to the audience.

The installations intended for the whole family can be seen all day for the entire duration of the festival. The Children’s Windows are implemented in collaboration with the Culture and Leisure Division of the City of Helsinki.

Read more about Children’s Design Week and Children’s Windows

Schoolchildren learn about design methods through PechaKucha presentations

Schoolchildren in Helsinki can participate in Helsinki Design Week through PechaKucha presentations for children. PechaKucha is a presentation format developed by Japanese architects in which the speaker can talk about a topic of their choice with the help of 20 images, with each image being displayed for exactly 20 seconds. PechaKucha has been one of the most popular events of Helsinki Design Week for over twenty years, and the Children’s PechaKucha that launched last year will continue this autumn.

Through the PechaKucha concept, children can learn about design thinking, as design methods are utilised in the selection of topics and the planning of the presentations. SuoMu – the Finnish Association of Design Learning has been involved in the development of the Children’s PechaKucha materials.

Children’s PechaKucha is a part of the City of Helsinki’s Culture Path programme implemented together with the Education Division.

Read more about the Children’s PechaKucha presentations


Discussions about developing a wise city

The festival’s theme, What is wise?, can be found in several events, such as the panel discussion held by Newil&Bau on 15 September. In the panel discussion, thoughts about new construction and the development of a wise city are shared by Steven Holl, known as the architect of Kiasma; Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki; the City of Helsinki’s Chief Design Officer Hanna Harris; Architect Samuli Woolston; and Newil&Bau’s CEO Petri Ylivuori.

Read more and sign up for the webinar: Newil&Bau: Building better Helsinki on 15 September at 15:00–16:00 

More information:

Programme of Helsinki Design Week

Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic region, held annually in September. The City of Helsinki is the main partner for the festival.

Photo: HDW