Helsinki Design Week gets extensive exhibition for first time in three years

Helsinki Design Week is organising an extensive new main exhibition for the first time in three years. The historical industrial property Merikortteli will provide the stage as its first and top floor are taken over by top brands and designers from 13 to 17 September 2023.

The event industry is going through a post-pandemic renaissance, and the largest design and architecture festival in the Nordic countries, Helsinki Design Week, will present a collection of exhibitions, launches, parties and encounters. The full festival programme includes more than 100 other events, too, for design professionals as well as the city residents.

The exhibition addressing what organisers call 'the good everyday life' has been curated by established designer and editor-in-chief of the Asun magazine Ulla Koskinen. Exhibition architecture was created by Lauri Johansson. Close to 50 design companies and designers have been invited to join. On display is the scope of the design industry from furniture manufacturers to textile designers and research-based material innovations. Their common denominator is an ecological approach – including entirely Finnish design.

It is now sometimes hard to say at first glance whether a room is a home or an office. Resting spots and a domestic-like atmosphere are created in the attic of Merikortteli by Balmuir, FDB Møbler, Tulikivi, Massimo Copenhagen and New Works, among others. A more homely feel is brought on by the Moomin textiles launched in the summer by Arabia.

Adaptability is demonstrated by Johanna Gullichsen’s textiles that suit both private homes and public spaces, an installation by Juslin Maunula and Artek, as well as Danish Carl Hansen & Søn’s indoor and outdoor furniture.

Other exhibitors include Secto Design, Nikari and Woodnotes, Artisan, FINOM x mina perhonen, Squarely Copenhagen, Ponsia x Rakla, Woven Works, Mölina ja Puisto, Fasetti, Interface, Ylämaan Graniitti, Collaboratorio and Grohe.

The 6th floor also houses wine importer Let Me Wine and Helsinki Design Week’s joint pop-up bar, Let Me Wine & HDW Bar, as well as a stage for daily design and architecture discussions.

The principles of sustainability are realised in the design and implementation of the event space, as almost all its elements continue their lives in other uses after the exhibition.

The latest addition to the programme, Art Goes Showroom, brings live music to the most interesting showrooms together with Art Goes Kapakka. Evening parties targeted at creative professionals take place at Arkken, Koolmat and Roltrade’s showrooms. 


Photo: Katri Kapanen, Anna Pirkola/Asun