Weekly Talks at Merikortteli: Find full programme here!

Helsinki Design Week is all about parties, encounters and the exchange of ideas! At the 6th floor of the Main Venue Merikortteli, next to the Let Me Wine & HDW Bar, there will be daily talks about Design and Architecture – and you are welcome to join.

Wednesday 13 September

A strong belief in a better future is at the core of the design industry’s operations.
Each of us can influence what tomorrow will be like – whether you’ve been in the industry for a long time, are just considering a creative career, or are just generally interested in future scenarios. Wednesday’s discussion program features one of the most successful researchers of the future, Vitra’s Raphael Gielgen, and the discussion “Let’s talk about internships” organized by Grafia, which nurtures the work culture of the future. Later on in the afternoon, we will delve into the latest ideas of the next generation of designers, the students of Aalto University.

  • 3-4pm Weekly Talks with Raphael Gielgen, Vitra Trendscout (Future of Work). In English.

Raphael Gielgen visits more than 100 companies a year. Whilst traveling around the globe, the whole world is his laboratory and the future his research area. He meets protagonists from the near and distant future by visiting big companies and start-ups as well as leading universities. His insights and experiences are shown in his »Panorama« –  a map for trends and patterns of a new world full of hackers and makers.

Raphael Gielgen
  • 4-5pm Grafia, Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland: Let’s talk about internships. In Finnish. 

Let’s talk a little about internships: Grafia’s ethical guidelines for student internships. There has been a lot of discussion about student internships in the field of design recently. Internship can be the first job in the field for many, and the experiences gained from it shape the view of the field. Grafia wants to help both interns and employers and drew up ethical guidelines for student internships. The instructions include things that both parties should take into account when making the internship contract and during the internship. Successful training benefits both parties. Failed neither. Tuomas Aatola, lecturer at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (moderator), Katri Soramäki, executive director of Grafia, Tero Leponiemi, competence manager at LAB University of Applied Sciences, graphic designer Emma Tahvanainen, and Ville Ohtonen, responsible creative director of Bob the Robot, will be discussing internships.

Tuomas Aatola
Katri Soramäki
Tero Leponiemi
Emma Tahvanainen
Ville Ohtonen
  • 5-6.30pm STORIES FROM ARTEFAKTI (The Master’s of Contemporary Design program at Aalto University): Presentations and a conversation. In English. 

Taking place at the ground floor exhibition space at Merikortteli, the Master’s of Contemporary Design program at Aalto University proudly presents its graduation showcase, ARTEFAKTI. The exhibition incorporates varied materials and covers diverse subject matter ranging from sustainability, craft, and more-than-human design to heritage, perception, territoriality, and multi-sensory experiences. ARTEFAKTI features work from 14 graduates and a few of them will be sharing their newest ideas on stage. 

  • 6.30-7pm. Story of a designer. In English.

    Mizetto’s designer Sami Kallio tells about their designer journey and future plans in conversation with Aalto University student and ARTEFAKTI Exhibitor Zoë Robertson

Thursday 14 September

Only change is certain, and so on. Fortunately, designers are good at taking advantage of rapidly changing conditions. Multidisciplinary creative thinking, careful research work and open discussion are needed to solve pressing problems and crises.

  • 3-4pm Finnish Design Shop: Product Sustainability Framework launch. In English.

    Sustainability and responsibility have become increasingly prominent topics that gain increasing attention year after year. However, amidst all the beautiful words and good intentions, the demand for concrete actions and hard facts has grown louder. This demand comes not only from conscious consumers but also from professionals working in the design industry. To address these requests, Finnish Design Shop embarked on a long and ambitious journey to develop the Product Sustainability Framework, a comprehensive tool designed to evaluate the sustainability of every product available in their online store. Merikortteli stage will host the launching panel discussion. Speakers include Finnish Design Shop’s COO Reetta Noukka, Sustainability Coordinator Aino Hieta, Artek Global CEO Marianne Göbel, designer Fredrik Paulsen and the CEO of Nikari Johanna Vuorio. The talk will be moderated by one of the founding members of United Imaginations and the former editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat Anu Ubaud.
  • 4-5pm Weekly Talks with Hakola. In Finnish.

    Why do design companies use design only in product development when there is a wide toolkit available for comprehensive development? A conversation with creative director Annaleena Hakola, Hakola, director Tytti-Lotta Ojala, LAB University of Applied Sciences and Kari Korkman, founder and director, Helsinki Design Week.
  • 5-6pm Falay Transition Design: Role of design for sustainability transitions. In English.
    What is the role of design for sustainable transformation? In this talk, Falay Transition Design Collective and Gaia Consulting will discuss the changes to business-as-usual that we urgently need, and how Transitions Design is repurposing creative skillsets to guide these changes. The talk will be followed by an interactive panel discussion moderated by Petra Ilonen, whose recent design research explores how designers are tackling such challenges in Finland.

Friday 15 September

Sense of joy should not be overlooked in design discussions! Joy is often forgotten in the design discussion. Inventing something new, learning by experimenting and generating ideas –  at its best, all of that is genuinely fun. On Friday, the Weekly Talks programme features a discussion about free self-expression, the importance of proto-play in imagination, designer legend Eero Aarnio’s creative play, and the Helsinki Design Award winner’s secret to success.

  • 3-4pm Weekly Talks with Outsider Art Finland. In Finnish.

In the future, we need a more multi-vocal discussion for the design fields as well. As part of Imagine everyday! Outsider Art Finland event, Helsinki Design Weekly and OAF open a discussion about the different routes to the world of design.

  • 4-5pm Tactic Games ja and Eero Aarnio’s approach to play. In Finnish. 

In an interview with designer Mari Savio and Finnish game giant Tactic’s play researcher, professor Katriina Heljakka. The discussion is about learning through play, the importance of play in design and how the new Tactic Minihome home play set designed by Eero Aarnio came to be. You can play in Minihome the previous weekend at Kaapelitehdas, HDW Children’s Design Week event. You can find more information here.

  • 5-6pm The Finnish Association of Design Learning SuoMu presents: 10 Year Anniversary one hour seminar. In Finnish.

Designing knowledge and skills. Visionaries of design learning reveal the deepest secrets of design learning. How does prototyping feed imagination and ingenuity? Is playing with thoughts a panacea for learning? In Conversation with Klaus Aalto, Panu Hatanpää, Jaana Räsänen, Essi Rämä, Karri Laitinen, Piia Keto-Aro and Mari Savio.

  • 6-7pm Weekly Talks with Helsinki Design Award Winner 2023. IN FINNISH.

The Helsinki Design Award is a recognition awarded jointly by the city of Helsinki and Helsinki Design Week, the winner of which will be revealed on 12 September.

Saturday 16 September

On Saturday afternoon, the Merikortteli stage will be taken over by a group of Architects whose work touches us all – the architects of residential buildings. The mini houses that delighted at the 2022 Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale have a thematic continuation at HDW’s House by an Architect event series. On Saturday, we’ll gather again to consider the value of housing construction from completely new perspectives. 

After that, the event space gets a completely new look, when HDW and 417 World’s joint innovation takes over the stage: Helsinki Design Night, which combines nocturnal urban culture. Helsinki Design Night admission tickets are sold separately.

1.30pm. EXTRA: Moomin Arabia’s special show show: There will be plenty of fresh burritos available but they’re not the eatable ones?! Come and see yourself, this exceptional fashion show will be over in a cozy flash!

  • 2-3pm. A moment with designers Esa Vesmanen and Akira Minagawa.

    Esa Vesmanen (FINOM) and Akira Minagawa (minä perhonen) are presenting their newest collaboration as a part of the HDW Main Exhibition. The talks is led by HDW founder Kari Korkman. In English. 
Esa Vesmanen & Akira Minagawan
  • 6-8pm House by an Architect. Included are e.g. architects Helena Sandman, Mikko Heikkinen, Jaakob Solla and Anne Routaniemi. The evening is hosted by Kari Korkman, the founder and director of HDW and the inventor of the House by an Architect. In Finnish.

The city is taking a breather from the busy residential construction. Now is good time to ask design professionals for examples of successful residential architecture. Five architects have been invited to the House by An Architect evening, and not to present their own work, but that of their colleagues. Each of the architects chooses a residential building from any decade, from any part of the world, that inspires them. The evening broadens our view of the possibilities offered by good design and high-quality construction. Its goal is to get all of us apartment owners and buyers to demand an even better built environment. More details can be found here.

The Urban culture of night time can be incredibly interesting and free.
What kind of spaces does a lively night culture require and what is the visual identity of Helsinki night? There will be discussion, live music and new views of the city.

Helsinki Design Week’s main venue, Merikortteli, is open from 13 to 17 September 2023 (Wed-Fri 2-8 pm, Sat-Sun 12-8 pm). The exhibition spreads over the first and sixth floors, where the stage and Let Me Wine & HDW Bar are also located. You can buy the entrance ticket here.