Koristeellinen rakennus Erottajalla Helsingissä, Helsinki Design Weekin liput salossa.

Helsinki Design Week is more than a festival

“Urban festivals make city centres vibrant by attracting visitors to exhibitions and other events from all over and outside Finland. They also form an important meeting forum for the existing and future professionals. Helsinki Design Week brings together an exceptionally large network of stakeholders”, writes the founder and CEO of Helsinki Design Week (Luovi Productions), Kari Korkman.

Kari Korkman is the founder of Helsinki Design Week. Photo: Paavo Lehtonen

Helsinki Design Week’s programme has crossed disciplines since the very beginning. New ideas are born where trades meet, and we have time after time proved what professionals inspired by each others’ specialties are able to come up with and co-create.

The festival invites all creative professional around one table – interior architects, industrial designers, graphic designers, architects as well as user experience and service designers. Helsinki Design Week has grown to form the most important venue for the design fields – a place where new projects, employment opportunities and client prospects begin.

Diversity and inclusivity have ensured development into a unique platform for an exceptionally large network of stakeholders.

Helsinki Design Week’s platform is open to all. In addition to our partnering system, we have developed the Open Call system to make participation in Helsinki Design Week effortless and to serve the varying needs of our audience as accurately as possible. The top of Finnish design represents high quality but on a narrow scale. This is why it is so important for Helsinki Design Week to invite various stakeholder groups to join its open platform. This way we have grown to an annual urban festival that reaches a large audience and attracts, in addition to design companies and agencies, also schools and universities, cultural institutes, trade associations and NGOs as well as governmentally funded projects to present their achievements.

For a private company we charge modestly for our services. We offer discounts to non-profit organizations, and registration, sometimes exhibition space, too, is free of charge for schools and universities.

Every participant is seeking attention, whatever their background. HDW is good at generating news. Our signature medium Helsinki Design Weekly creates a versatile event calendar for the needs of the participants. Weekly helps launch new products, open exhibitions or attract the attention of design professionals and enthusiasts. Our communication channels are many: newsletters, social media, the Weekly radio programme and podcast productions as well as increasingly sophisticated PR services to ensure that messages go through.

The Weekly medium enables us to operate all year round. In the future, we’ll produce more and more exhibitions and events outside the festival in September and our home base in Helsinki. In 2019, we expanded operations to Raseborg where the Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale has formed a platform of its own. In 2016, we founded together with international colleagues the World Design Weeks network that provides our stakeholders the opportunity to market their competencies around the globe. Weekly has proved an effective communication partner in each new endeavour.

Helsinki Design Week challenges the mission and concepts of traditional festivals. We want to offer more to our target fields as well as the entire society. This year we launched a three-year development period to peak in 2025, the 20th anniversary of the festival. We’ll have a great party if we gather many people to brainstorm and make sure Helsinki Design Week will always remain topical and relevant. This is an open call to join us!

Kari Korkman, founder, Luovi Productions