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December 9, 2011

Helsinki: World Design Capital 2012

It’s Design Week, as those of you paying attention may have noticed, and the World Design Capital for the upcoming year is none other than Helsinki! Yes, folks, our spiritual (and actual) home will be hosting a …host of events (over 300 to be precise) – festivals, gallery showings and open houses galore throughout the year.

Everyone knows the Finns are a stylish and cultural lot, but what has Helsinki winning the Design Capital bid meant? According to Pekka Timonen (the Executive Director of WDC Helsinki)

“design is now part of Helsinki’s city strategy, the metropolitan strategy and the central government strategy”

One of the goals of Helsinki’s tenure of the position is

“to demonstrate the benefits of design in solving challenges of urban life.”

…and urban life nowadays is inextricably linked to the mobile phone. Which is why Nokia are committed to

“pushing the boundaries”

of design, according to Peter Griffith, who (along with his team) constantly strives to make the phones he designs

“as beautiful as possible”

which is very in-keeping with the ethos of the World Design Capital manifesto. Beautiful, yet functional.

Pekka Timonen, has said that Finnish companies

“can also benefit from the improved competiveness brought by good design. The strong focus on using design to improve everyday life in Finland and the need for Finnish companies to improve their competitiveness also represent new business opportunities”

…and Nokia will be at the forefront. The latest Lumia and Asha phones embody this ethos, but ground breaking design can also be found in Luna headsets and Play 360 speakers are indicators of Nokia’s design intentions. Raising the bar. Again.

As well as Helsinki, there are some partner cities that will be part of the festivities Vantaa, Lahti, Kauniainen and…Espoo! Yes, the ‘youthful and dynamic urban growth area’ (and home to Nokia House, as you know) will be an epicentre for exciting events, so look out for some of your favourite Nokians getting their design heads on and getting involved next year 🙂

via goodnewsfinland