There was a time when Helsinki was considered a distant place at the edge of the universe. Today, Helsinki is a vibrant, multi-cultural and internationally connected metropolitan area with a shared vision to become the global leader in the international field of design.
The British lifestyle magazine Monocle recently chose Helsinki The Most Livable City in the World. We believe it was the right choice. Helsinki is an easygoing city. It’s all about music, restaurants, art, architecture, organic and local food, urban gardening and being happy. It’s about fathers and mothers on skateboards. And people of all ages hanging out in the parks in the summertime and having picnics on the ice in the wintertime.
World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 is a joint venture between the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. Espoo, home to Nokia and Angry Birds, is a bicycle ride away from downtown Helsinki. Vantaa, home to the Heureka Science Center and Helsinki Airport, is our port to the rest of the world. Kauniainen, population 8,600, located 15 kilometers west of Helsinki, is a perfect half a day trip destination. And Lahti, easily reachable by train, is the home of the Institute of Design, one of the most prestigious design schools in Finland.
The official programme of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 consists of some 300 events, projects and exhibitions. Just like design itself, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 is literally everywhere around us. You can find it at art galleries, shops or cafes in the Design District Helsinki. Design truly has always been a part of the Finnish way of life. Something we learn to appreciate when we are kids and carry along until we are old.
The meeting place in Helsinki city center will be a temporary wooden pavilion, which will be built in spring 2012 in an empty lot between Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Together the pavilion and the museums will form a complex, which will be the meeting point and a hub for the visitors, professionals and press alike during the summer of 2012. The site will also host a café and a wide range of programs and events from open talks to film screenings and Sunday brunches to design markets.
We love Helsinki. It is a fantastic place to live and even better to explore. You can stop by for a weekend or stay for months. Some stay for life. Welcome.