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Helsinki Design Week’s main exhibition U-JOINTS encourages us to view the built environment from a new perspective

Helsinki Design Week, held from 9 to 19 September, brings its main exhibition U-JOINTS, the Office of the Future installation series and the What Is Wise to Design Now? programme as well as the popular Design Market under one roof at Glasshouse Helsinki in the centre of Helsinki. As always, there will be fun things to explore and do for the children, too.

U-Joints: Knots & Knits

U-Joints: Knots & Knits is the fourth part of Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu’s project and series of exhibitions. It explores the use of joints in design and architecture. Joints are rarely paid attention to but made invisible or elegantly hidden in products. The exhibition exposes these hidden details, inviting visitors to explore the beauty and quality of the objects and structures through every detail.

Office of the Future

The year of the pandemic accelerated the change in our ways of working, an inescapable development. Our office-centred work tradition is transforming towards multilocality as work is divided between various places, including homes, cafes, libraries and studios.

How do company offices encounter this challenge? The Office of the Future exhibition presents a versatile collection of ideas from furniture makers, designers and researchers on how and where we are to work in the future. We’ll see novelties of spatial, acoustics and audio design from Vitra, Artek, Vepsäläinen, Isku, Framery, Roltrade and Interface, among others, as well as many programmed events, new ideas and insightful presentations including webcasts from across the world.

Annual theme explores the best design cooperation practices

Helsinki Design Week’s annual theme “What is Wise to Design Now?” is an open call to join the discussion about wisdom’s extensive, multifaceted definition. During the festival, the theme is explored on the fourth floor of the festival’s main venue Glasshouse Helsinki. We can expect to see the latest products and ideas from Finnish designers, participate in daily discussions and visit a pop-up restaurant to meet people.

“We think it is wise to centralize our functions under one roof this year because the pandemic still affects the event organization. Most of all, it is wise to try and make the city centre more vibrant again. Collaboration with Glasshouse Helsinki represents our will to develop new services and procedures to support the traditonal stores in the centre,” says Helsinki Design Week founder Kari Korkman.

Also the largest design outlet event in the Nordic countries, Design Market, will be organized taking into account the exceptional conditions: at Glasshouse Helsinki and through the Design Market Online campaign.

5th-graders on the Culture Path

The main partner of Helsinki Design Week is the City of Helsinki. This year the City brings the popular PechaKucha -event to the schools, as part of the Culture Path -programme.

In PechaKucha ten inspiring speakers talk about topics they are interested in. Each speaker brings 20 images to show for exactly 20 seconds. During the Children’s Design Week, the floor is given to fifth-graders.

“Design and Architecture have a significant role in rebuilding urban life after the pandemic. Helsinki Design Week brings a very topical, insightful programme to Helsinki in the autumn. We are particularly pleased to be able to further strengthen the participation of children and young people in HDW this year. School children will be able to get acquainted with the festival’s diverse offerings and also reflect on design themes themselves,” says Chief Design Officer of the City of Helsinki Hanna Harris.

Helsinki Design Week is a destination for the fifth-graders and an opportunity to learn self-expression and presentation skills by using design methods. Our specialty in 2021 is collaboration with the international Unesco City of Design network.

Established in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Organized yearly in September, this multi-sector event presents the different disciplines of design as well as fashion, architecture and urban culture. Helsinki Design Week is produced by Luovi Productions Oy. The next Helsinki Design Week festival is organized from 9 to 19 September 2021.

The entire programme will be published 12 August 2021 at

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