Mental Dentist

8 Sep

I took this photo outside the Cable Factory during this year’s Design Week. There was so much to see and do this week that it feels like I’ve had some mental dental work done myself! I’ve been running around the city all week, trying to pack in as many of events as possible.

Helsinki Design Week

August 26, 2010 – September 5, 2010

Helsinki Design Week is a city-wide event highlighting the work of architects, designers, and fashion professionals. This year’s theme was story-telling.

In 2010, Design Week celebrated its sixth year and the event was of even greater import because of Helsinki’s status as World Design Capital 2012.

Here are a handful of the events that I saw:

Night of the Arts, August 27

The city was buzzing with local street performers and teenagers. Fellow Fulbrighters and I walked around the city, making note of Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia Hall and Opera House. This picture is from a costume design show at a space near Senate Square. (Sorry, I cannot provide the name of the designer or space.)

Cable Factory

This building was formerly Nokia’s factory. It hosted many art events during the Helsinki Design Week including Art Fair Suomi, the Design Market, and the Pattern Lab. This is the view I saw as I was walking away from the space two weeks ago. Look at those amazing clouds!

Art Fair Suomi featured two hundred artists from Finland working in a variety of media from sound, video, painting and photography.

Design Market is an event in which individual designers, small companies and wholesalers bring their goods to sell to the public. I saw a little bit of everything- clothes, jewelry, lighting, bags, shoes, furniture, etc. It was a massive event, full of well-designed goods.

Pattern Lab is a collection of surface design made by graduates of TAIK (now known as Aalto University, School of Design). Below is a pattern from the 2011 collection.

[Photo credit: ]

Design Museo

Fashion Photo Helsinki at the Design Museo was an exhibition from Brazilian photographer Daneila Talvitie featuring Finnish fashion invading in urban spaces. There are many of these wooden houses painted this exact shade of red in my neighborhood.

[Photo credit:]

The Design Museo also displayed prominent works from the fifty year long career of Oiva Toikka, a designer for Iittala. Toikka is best known for his whimsical glass birds. See Barn Owl below.

[Photo credit:]


Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre housed this event for interior design, furniture, lighting and other goods. The space was mammoth and it was easy to get lost in a sea of people and products. It was overwhelming but entertaining to imagine how I would outfit my ideal home which would most certainly include at least one of these over the top crystal chandeliers, shown below.


2 Responses to “Mental Dentist”

  1. Dawne September 14, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    I went to Habitare when I was there. Yes, it was overwhelming (advanced Ikea on steriods back in 1995). Nice to know they have a whole week now dedicated to design. I’m happy to know that the Night of Arts is still happening. Loved it when I was there.


    • hellosinki September 14, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      And now they have whole year devoted to design!

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