Helsinki Design Week main events in 2017 published

Helsinki Design Week has published its main events for 2017, including new tram discussions, city installations and hard questions.

Helsinki Design Week has published its main events for 2017, including new tram discussions, city installations and hard questions.

The largest design festival in the Nordic countries, Helsinki Design Week will fill Helsinki with design from 7 to 17 September 2017.

This year’s novelties include after-work design discussions on trams, Data-Driven Design Day that encourages us to utilize data, and World Design Weeks Summit that is to unite international design influencers and Finnish operators.

The HDW HOP installation series that charmed us last year with their Three Smiths Bubble will create new installations in the city centre, and playful Design Diplomacy will open doors to the embassy residencies of Iceland, Austria and Italy, among others.

The theme for this year is ‘Q&A’. How can we use design to build better cities and a better society? How could design-thinking benefit new areas? We must ask the right questions and come up with answers that remain relevant in the future.

Independent event organizers are free to apply until 26 May here. The entire programme will be announced in June.

Helsinki Design Week 2017 main events

HDW HOP City Installations

From 7 to 17 September 2017
Helsinki center


For the second time, the Helsinki centre will be occupied by huge urban installations. These works will study the theme of a city in development. How will future cities be built? What new and what kind of opportunities can a shared urban space offer to its residents? The installation series consist of works by Finnish and international designers and architects.

Installations will take over the street in front of old manege on Kasarmikatu, a spatial installation designed by architects Virkkala de Vocht. A temporary urban space built under the canopy will invite people to gather and discuss and exchange ideas. The purpose of the installation is to stimulate discussion about utilizing shared urban spaces in a communal way.

The Growroom to rise on Keskuskatu is a greenroom designed by Danish design studio Space10 and architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husumthat demonstrates the future possibilities of city farming. Thanks to open data and drawings, anyone can create their own Growroom.

A detached house designed by Taiwanese Hsieh Ying-ChunJuhani Pallasmaa ja Chiu Chen-Yu takes a stand on tight urban architecture and building solutions for disaster areas.

All installations and their designers will be presented in Helsinki Design Weekly starting from June. We’ll celebrate the opening of the HDW HOP installation series together with all citizens on September 7.


Design Diplomacy

From 7 to 17 September 2017
Residencies around Helsinki


Super popular Design Diplomacy discussions will continue this year. Another 10 embassies will open the doors of their residences to the public. One design professional from each country meets a Finnish designer in a Design Diplomacy card game. Participating countries include Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Italy and Spain. Confirmed speakers include managing director of Danish Le Klint Kim Weckstrøm Jensen and Swedish design architect Joel Karlsson, and in the British Embassy we’ll hear FRAUD, the London-based artist duo Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo.

Q&A discussion series

From 11 to 15 September 2017


Web publication Helsinki Design Weekly that introduces current topics and discusses the future of the design field will circle among the festival crowd during tram discussions. These discussions are rooted deep in this year’s Helsinki Design Week theme, Q&A, pondering urban development, education and learning, sustainable development, spaces and houses, as well as creative field entrepreneurship and cooperation.

A tram dedicated by HST to culture will transform into an after-work design tram that’ll tour the districts of Helsinki. There is a pre-designed route for each daily theme to complement and support the discussion topic. Featured specialists include designers, city employees, researchers and rap artists.

Home Revisited design exhibition

From 7 September to 22 October 2017
Iittala & Arabia Design Centre


Home Revisited design competition was organized to celebrate Asko Foundation’s 50th anniversary focusing on the home of the future and its changing needs. The ten finalists of this international, multi-discipline competition are presented by using prototypes and scale models at Iittala & Arabia Design Centre.

HDW Architecture Day

7 September 2017


The Eero Saarinen Honorary Lecture will be organized as part of HDW Architecture Day at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The lecture will feature a young, internationally successful architect telling about their work, career and influences. In addition, the day will introduce the Ruukki Unbelievable Challenge 2017 architecture competition. The event is open to all and requires registration in advance.


Design Market

From 10 to 11 September 2017
The Cable Factory


The largest Design Market in the Nordic countries will open the festival by taking over the Cable Factory. Design Market is a stock sales event that provides the opportunity to buy products from previous seasons or prototypes for an affordable price. In addition to approximately 200 sales agents, the event involves, for example, Freda Flower Market and scrap restaurant Loop.

PechaKucha Night

12 September 2017

20 pictures x 20 seconds – a fast-track PechaKucha Night is based on Tokyo-based Klein Dytham architects’ presentation concept that allows speakers just 20 pictures and 20 seconds per picture.

Data-Driven Design Day

12 September 2017

Data-Driven Design Day is organized for the third time this year, and for the first time in cooperation with Helsinki Design Week. The event features views and practical tips on how to utilize data in design. We can expect to hear inspiring stories about developing products and services with the help of data to benefit customer experience and business. This year’s theme encompasses online and retail sales. Ideas include data-driven organization leadership and modifying data to fuel programmatic design.


From 13 to 17 September 2017
Messukeskus,  Expo and Convention Centre


Showroom is Helsinki Design Week’s professional event about design, space design, and lighting, co-organized with Habitare in the Helsinki fair centre (Messukeskus) from 13 to 15 September.

This year’s theme is Q&A, with which the talks on stage aim to reflect the underlying needs and expectations and to answer related questions that arise. On stage we’ll see dialogues between architects, easy discussions over lunch as well as international keynote speakers. Discussions will review the future of cities and the relationship between nature and architecture and create new angles into design.

This year, the exhibition architecture is designed by Avanto Architects. Large mirror surfaces reflect the sections and multiply their area. Participating companies represent furniture, textile, lighting, materials, accessories and services.

Muoto Gala

13 September 2017
Clarion Hotel Helsinki

Muoto Gala that awards Finnish design has been moved over to Helsinki Design Week. It is an event of 250 invited guests organized at Clarion Hotel Helsinki in the Jätkäsaari district. Awards include the product, design deed and young talent of the year.

WDW Summit

From 14 to 15 September 2017
Clarion Hotel Helsinki

World Design Weeks is a new international network that brings together design festivals from all over the world. Helsinki Design Week is to host the first major event at Clarion Hotel Helsinki.

The network aims to elevate the global conversation, understanding, education and connection of people with design. It shares knowledge, resources and best practices, fostering the exchange of products and ideas, sustainable development, and the growth of individual design events. Its headquarters are located in Helsinki, and the network will be chaired by Helsinki Design Week’s CEO Kari Korkman until 2020.

Open Studios

From 14 to 15 September 2017
Around Helsinki


Open Studios opens the doors of the most interesting studios in Helsinki. Pioneers of the creative field and architecture open the doors to their offices and tell about their work during the evening events organized by Helsinki Design Week and the Mushrooming studio network of the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

The Decide-for-yourself price campaign by VIMMA allowed customers to set a price for a pair of leggings. © AINO HUOVIO

Children’s Weekend

From 16 to 17 September 2017


This popular family event is celebrating its 5th anniversary. It presents an experiential mini world where kids can experience design and architecture through various workshops. Space design for the birthday party is provided by designer Tero Kuitunen. Among other things, the visitors will learn about creative problem-solving at Fun Academy’s Astronaut workshop and interior design at the Silja Line workshop. The Hoksaus science club workshop will reflect on what science and design have in common. This year’s novelties include a larger Little Market and an interesting discussion covering Finnish fashion for kids, technology, as well as food, for example.

Satellite event Habi Kids will be held from 13 to 17 September at Messukeskus. Carried out in cooperation with Habitare and SuoMu, the Finnish Association of Design Learning, this area will focus on future schools and learning.

New partnerships

Helsinki Design Week undertakes broad cooperation with both the business world as well as with cultural institutions and various design organizations.

The main partners in 2017 are design and consultancy company Ramboll and Clarion Hotel Helsinki.

As a new partner, OP Financial Group introduces DriveNow service, which is already available in many European metropolises. DriveNow makes cars available in Helsinki and neighbouring areas at a minute-based fee.

“Car sharing is increasing fast around the world, and we believe it will become popular in Finland too as the supply increases,” says Member of the Executive Board Harri Nummela, member of OP Financial Group Executive Board, in charge of new business.

OP operates in Helsinki as DriveNow’s franchising partner.

Other Helsinki Design Week’s partners is 2017 are Tallink Silja and digital agency Evermade.

In addition, festival has multiple event, media and programme partners, such as AteneumAalto University and Design Museum. A construction company Fira becomes a partner to HDW HOP City Installations.

See the partners here. More partners will be announced during the summer.

Founded in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Held annually in September, the multidisciplinary festival presents design from a number of fields as well as fashion, architecture and urban culture. The next Helsinki Design Week will be held 7.–17.9.2017.