Design in a Diverse Society

The International Cultural Centre Caisa is a unit of the City of Helsinki Cultural Office. Its task is to promote good ethnic relations in Helsinki, support the integration of people moving to Helsinki from different cultures, provide Helsinki residents with a diverse cultural offering in different languages, give people living in Helsinki information about different cultures Helsinki and to provide people moving here from other countries with information about Finnish society. Caisa uses cultural means to prevent prejudice and racism.


Turkey’s leading designers will present themselves at an exhibition focusing on jewellery and fabric design and industrial design. The exhibition also includes lectures, design shows, a concert and workshops.


Johanna Maula
The International Cultural Centre Caisa
Tel. +358 50 522 2960

Design Museum

The central meeting place of the design capital is a wooden pavilion designed by Aalto University students, and is being built in the courtyard area between the Design Museum and Museum of Finnish Architecture.

The activities at the museums will also be expanding into the courtyard and onto the street level. The pavilion is scheduled to open after May Day 2012 and will host all kinds of activities – workshops, top international and domestic addresses, comments on other design capital repertoire, and various campaigns.

The Design Museum’s entire 2012 programme is related to the design capital activities. The busy schedule at the Design Museum will pamper visitors of all ages throughout the year. There’s still time to see the Jump on! – Great Finnish Comic Strip exhibition at the beginning of 2012. The Designworld exhibition opening at the end of January shows how design makes daily life safer.

In the summer season, the Design Museum will be hosting the delightful classics of Finnish design from the 50s and 60s in the Future Builders exhibition, which also presents some rarer design treasures. The Design Gallery 12 exhibition series presents the production of top-notch designers from Finland and abroad on a monthly basis. The 2012 exhibitions also include a large number of workshops and other programmes.


Aila Svenskberg
PR & Communications
Design Museum
Tel. +358 9 6220 5420

Metamorphosis and Inspiring Encounter

Two exhibitions present works by design students from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences Institute of Design and Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Lobby Chairs by the students from Lahti were created using recycled furniture elements from Martela. The Stockholm students’ creations, however, are interpretations of the theme “free forms of inspiring encounter”.

In spring of 2011 design students from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences Institute of Design were challenged with creating a personal chair for a lobby. A clear task – but with a twist: only recycled items from Martela could be used. The works on display are the result. Each student picked two items and modified or combined their components to create a third item: a lobby chair of their own design. Use of other small parts in critical places (for example, screws or small structural elements) was allowed, but most of the materials were to be from the recycled pieces.

The contributions of the students from Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm were more generally defined. The students were tasked with considering and creating working environments that provide places for frequent accidental meetings and encounters. Anything that could promote such a space was open for use – from traditional elements like furniture to acoustical elements, color schemes, space design and anything between.


Leena Puttaa-Sollo
Brand and Communication Manager
Martela Oyj
Tel. +358 40 84 95 480

Yellow City – illustrated stories from Helsinki

The series of exhibitions entitled ‘Yellow City – illustrated stories from Helsinki’ is based on the book with the same title combining illustrations and literature, to be published in January 2012. The exhibition portrays the nature of illustration as utilitarian art: how an illustration is created to order.

For the book project, 17 illustrators from Napa Illustrations Agency invited a Finnish author or other copy producer whose text they wanted to illustrate. In the series of exhibitions, the illustrations created for the book find a venue in the city. The works, based on a dialogue of illustration and literature, are used to make our environment more pleasant and interesting.

Alongside the exhibitions, there will be artist interviews, workshops and other complementary events. Some of the works will be donated to selected charities.


  • Anna Virtanen & Satu Manninen
  • Christer Nuutinen & Pauliina Haasjoki
  • Elina Minn & Emma Puikkonen
  • Ilja Karsikas & Antti Nylén
  • Jaakko Pallasvuo & Kaisa Ijäs
  • Janne Harju & Tuomas Nevanlinna
  • Jenni Rope & Silja Järventausta
  • Jenni Tuominen & Tomi Kontio
  • Jukka Pylväs & Antti Tuomainen
  • Jussi Kaakinen & Markku Kaskela
  • Jussi Karjalainen & Leena Parkkinen
  • Kasper Strömman & Anna Tommola
  • Kati Rapia & Riikka Ala-Harja
  • Ossi Pirkonen & Maria Candia
  • Pauliina Mäkelä & Tiina Lehikoinen
  • Riikka Sormunen & Juho Nieminen
  • Terhi Ekebom & Anni Sinnemäki

‘Yellow City’ is organised by Napa Illustrations Agency.


Marjo Granlund
illustration agentv
Napa Illustrations Agency
Tel. +358 50 329 7655

INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition

Today, a widening field of designers and manufacturers is turning inspiration, skills and industrial capabilities to issues of improving life – both in the developed world and in still-emerging societies. INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition thus features the 60 finalists for INDEX: Award 2011 – the world’s biggest, life-improving design award.

INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition opened un September 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and can be experienced – free of charge for all visitors – also in the heart of Helsinki during May-June 2012.

INDEX: has come up with a brand new exhibition design in collaboration with American architect Greg Lynn and Danish architect Christian Ditlev Bruun, and Kongens Nytorv Square has been replaced by Copenhagen’s new hip hang-out, Ophelia Beach (Kvæsthusmolen) next to Copenhagen’s beautiful new Royal Playhouse.

The new design is far from the minimalistic traditions of Scandinavia and features several 12-foot black, organic shapes with square, golden insets containing the displayed designs. The shapes are covered with solar cells powering LED-lights to light up the designs at night.

INDEX: Award Exhibition features the 60 finalists for INDEX: Award 2011, representing about 6 percent of the total number (966) of nominations for the world’s biggest design award. After showcasing the finalists in Copenhagen from September 2nd to November 20th 2011, the exhibition will commence its world tour, currently planned for six major cities in Asia and Europe (with more to be decided) and expected to run until 2013.


Adam von Haffner Paulsen
News Director
Mob: +45 2613 2122
Tel: +45 3389 2005

Nordic Masters

This project will introduce works by arts and crafts masters who are at the beginning of their careers. In this exhibition masters from the other Nordic Countries will encounter their Finnish colleagues. After the exhibition in Helsinki, the masters will tour in the other Nordic Countries.

The exhibition will be organised by ArtShortCut Ltd.


Päivi Korppi
Project Manager
Nordic Masters
Tel. +358 50 330 0755

TIMEless – Design from the Stone Age to Today

TIMEless – Design from the Stone Age to Today is a review of the design of objects crucial for living, from the Stone Age to today.

The focal points are Stone Age tools, hunting and fishing equipment, ceramics and artefacts discovered on the dig of Gubbacka medieval village. They are juxtaposed with comparable items and associations with contemporary design and current use of manufacturing materials.

The aim is to awaken the exhibition visitor to pay attention to the design language of objects that are thousands of years old and the aesthetics associated with functionality. The designs have observed the main principles of good contemporary design. The guiding principle is ‘designing good life’: good design has made and does make life easier, it is part of the quality of life.

In order to produce a good end result, the Stone Age maker must also have understood the purpose of the object, the material, as well as had the skill to produce a functional object.

The project is an exhibition which is a revised part of Vantaa City Museum’s permanent exhibition ‘Tarinamme Helsingestä Vantaaksi’ [Our story from Helsinge to Vantaa]. It will open on the eve of the Vantaa city festival.


On the Saturday of the WDC Helsinki 2012 weekend, the Myyrmanni shopping centre will put on an exhibition of the archaeology of the Myyrmäki area from the perspective of everyday design: it is the largest Stone Age habitation site discovered in Finland. In April, a presentation on Stone Age aesthetics will take place at Vantaan Designikkuna on Asematie. In September 2012, workshop activities will be on offer during the National Archaeology Days.


Jaana af Hällström
Vantaa City Museum
Tel. +358 50 310 5952

Flying to Helsinki

Helsinki Airport or Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is the main internationalairport of the Helsinki metropolitan region and the whole of Finland. It is located in Vantaa, 17.0 km north of Helsinki city centre. It is the international and domestic hub for Finnair, the Finnish flag carrier, Blue1, the Finnish regional division of SAS, Air Finland and Flybe Nordic. In total, there are approximately 40 airlines servicing the Helsinki Airport. This means that you are bound to find a plethora of reliable and fairly priced tickets to the finnish capital.

Getting from the airport to the city centre


From the airport it is easy to take a taxi to the city centre. It will cost around 40€ and take about half an hour.


You can also travel by bus from the airport to Helsinki centre.

Helsinki Region Transport provides public transport services between Helsinki Airport and the metropolitan area. The total travel time is around 40 minutes and you can buy your ticket from a ticket machine or the driver. Click here for more information

Finnair city bus also operates between city centre and Helsinki-Vantaa airport from 05:45 to 01:10 every 20 minutes. The cost is 6,20€ and it will take about 30 minutes. Here you’ll find more information.


Helsinki offers a wide range of accommodation, from inexpensive hostels to luxury establishments. Whether you are looking for the most modern hotel centre, a cosy family hotel or a convenient hostel, you will find what you are looking for.

To make your stay more interesting, though, we have contacted Klaus K, Helsinki’s one and only Design Hotel and stroke a deal for you. When contacting the hotel by telephone (at +358 20 770 4700) or by email (at make clear you are attending the European Design Awards. This will get you a generous discount on the Passion & Mystical category of rooms (at €125 per room per night).
In order to take advantage of the specific offer, you should make your reservations until 30.4.2012. Please take notice that no cancellations are excepted during the last 14 days before the arrival date.

You can find more information about Klaus K by clicking on this link

ED-Awards 2012 Ceremony

Awards Ceremony

This is the time when the best designers from all corners of the continent come together to recognize and to reward the effort and the results that they have achieved during the previous year. With participants from 34 different countries (from Iceland to Cyprus and from Russia to Andora) and with probably the most qualified jury on this planet (comprised by editors from 15 prestigious design magazines), receiving a distinction in the ED-Awards is a true reason for celebration. And indeed this ceremony is a warm-hearted night of celebration.

Date & time

Saturday, May 26th: 20:00-22:30 (Registration starts at 19:30)


Sold via ED web shop.

All ED-Awards ceremony tickets are also valid for the Winner’s party.

The Venue

Bio Rex (Mannerheimvägen 22-24) is considered to be a landmark work of architecture in Finland. It was opened in February 1936 and was designed by architects Viljo Revell, Niilo Kokko and Heimo Riihimaki.

Winners Party

Right after the ED-Awards ceremony, it is (as always) party time! Time to relax, to interact with creative people from all over Europe, time to dance and have a good time. The party will take place at Ahjo, a lovely small club located a five minute walk away from Bio Rex. The place is ideal for young urban city people who like good music, great atmosphere, and awesome cocktails.

And to get the party started… your first drink is on us!

Bulevardi 2/4, Helsinki

Date & time
Saturday, May 26th: 22:30++

Free entrance to all ED-Awards ceremony participants

European Design Awards 2012

This year, the European Design Awards ceremony is taking place in Helsinki, Finland.

The fact that Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012, means that a lot of events and exhibitions are going to be available for the people who will attend our Awards Ceremony. Through our website, we are proposing a few of them, but you can find even more details by following this link