HDW HOP 2018: Share a special moment with fellow festival-goers at Fire Garden

The HDW HOP series presents installations that enliven the city centre during Helsinki Design Week from 6 to 16 September 2018.

Major urban installations take over the city once again during Helsinki Design Week. The installation series consists of works by Finnish and international designers and architects. Each installation has its own way of looking at the theme of Helsinki Design Week 2018, TRUST.

All of the installations and their designers are being introduced by Helsinki Design Weekly. 

The next installation to be introduced is Fire Garden, created by designer Leena Kouhia and architect Sofie Hägerström, to be built in the Balder House’s yard. Musician and composer Tapani Rinne has created a special soundscape for the garden.This trio collaborates for the first time based on an idea inspired by the festival theme, TRUST.

This installation consists of a bonfire and tables of candles that create a uniquely calm atmosphere in the very centre of the city. It invites people to relax and share a special moment with fellow festival-goers. The creators of the installation point out that people have gathered around fire to keep warm and tell stories for millions of years. Talking about things in an atmospheric and safe environment increases understanding and therefore also builds trust between parties.

The logs used at Fire Garden are provided by Pilkenetti. Ikitaito provides the stone baskets in which to make fire safely, and the space in the yard is provided by Balder’s House.

Who is behind the installation, and what other projects has the team done?

Architect Sofie Hägerström, designer Leena Kouhia and musician and composer Tapani Rinne. Fire Garden is our first project as a team.

How did this installation get started?

HDW’s theme for this year, TRUST, provoked an idea about a campfire, which in our opinion creates a great atmosphere for building trust.

All of the HDW HOP installations address this year’s theme, trust. How does your installation embody the theme?

A campfire creates a primitive, primal atmosphere. People get to know each other, build trust, decrease distance between themselves and communicate more easily by a fire. A real fire helps create an open and warm environment. Visitors can help create an even warmer atmosphere by lighting small candles of trust.

Why should people see your installation?

People must experience our installation because it appeals to all senses. The smell of burning birch logs, the warmth and the crackle of the fire as well as the dedicated soundscape create a calming place in the very centre of Helsinki. Fire Garden is an inspiring place to meet. The flames are reflected on the stone walls of the historical Balder House, and the intimate inner courtyard creates a lovely background to this installation. The Balder House Cafe will be open in the yard during the installation.

How can we use design to enhance trust and openness?

The purpose of design is to improve life, and it can be used to steer our behaviour. Design must consider people’s needs and produce wellbeing. People feel good in a functional, aesthetic and stimulating environment. It increases trust.

The Fire Garden installation is open from 6 to 16 September 18.00–22.00. You can enter the garden through the gate at Helenakatu 4.