Helsinki Design Week main venue the Olympic Stadium.

Helsinki Design Week: PechaKucha Night and Children's Design Weekend

Helsinki Design Week creates a street-long virtual art intervention

Helsinki Design Week will this year run as a hybrid digital and physical format. Running from 3rd – 13th September its main exhibition programme will be hosted from the newly renovated Helsinki Olympic Stadium, with a stream of digital events taking the design festival to a wider audience and those unable to attend in person. Helsinki Design Week creates a street-long virtual art intervention

PechaKucha Night and Children's Design Weekend

The main exhibition, PechaKucha Night and Children’s Design Weekend will take place at the Stadium. The main exhibition is to present topical and interesting fashion, design and architecture – the track and field events of design. Exhibition content will include individual products and installations as well as a comprehensive review of young designers’ works. These include an installation made of concrete and mycelium by studio Caracara, Seitikki by carpenter Antrei Hartikainen and an exhibition of benches curated by Jasper Morrison.

The main venue will offer an unforgettable setting for the largest PechaKucha Night in Europe on Saturday the 12th of September. On the stage located on the green of the Stadium, we’ll hear from Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki, director of the Aalto film Virpi Suutari, CEO of Hakola Anna-Leena Hakola and architect Teemu Kurkela.

“In addition to a unique architectural experience, the Olympic Stadium provides us with an exceptionally spacious venue. We can let 1000 persons attend the PechaKucha Night in the grandstand outside without compromising the safety distances,” says festival director Kari Korkman.

Children are our guests of honour during the weekend at the Olympic Stadium. Entrance is free to the Children’s Design Weekend which will feature a fun and engaging route designed by design duo Anna van der Lei and Kristos Mavrostomos around the famous green of the Olympic Stadium. Families can enter this kids’ event freely.

Remotely and online

The COVID-19 situation also impacts the design festival.

“Helsinki Design Week can be organized safely because it is a series of responsibly arranged events of various sizes, not a single mass event. We have made the programme more virtual and designed the events sufficiently spacious,” says programme director Anni Korkman.

The Design Market, which in previous years attracted more than 20,000 visitors at the Cable Factory, will this year take place online and in various retail stores from Thursday the 3rd to Saturday the 5th of September.

The Open Screens series will present 3D animations integrated in the city space, on the billboards around the centre of Helsinki. This field of design has risen to prominence in recent years and is strongly influencing the visuals and storytelling in digital environments. The Open Screens include works from Wang & Söderström, Anna Alanko, Ada Sokol and Matti Vesanen.

The sixth Data-Driven Design Day is organized in digital format. The speakers include people from Finnish organizations, such as Kesko, Fortum, Posti, YLE, Sanoma Media Finland, HRT and Helen.

At the Design Museum, the Soil Matters exhibition will make our soil more visible and encourage visitors to study their relationship with earth. The exhibition will address the materiality of soil through design and artistic research.

“The Learning Climate theme announced last year is something we are committed to from here to the future. Despite this exceptional year and uncertain situation in the world we can expect a fine, versatile festival programme,” says Anni Korkman.

Commitment to climate work

Last year we started intense cooperation with Aalto University, and we’ll continue this year with the second Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition. This event will address new materials, including bioglue, cellulose foam and wood glitter, and present a “multisensual” seaweed pavillion and the Fungi exhibition about future mushroom potential.

There will be a Climate College held at the City Hall, the speakers of which are to provide various solutions for a more environmentally friendly future in cities. Climate College on 4 September as part of Helsinki Design Week

Read more:

Helsinki Design Week 3 to 13 September

Helsinki Design Week programme

Olympic Stadium celebrates the completed renovation with an open house 24–30 August

Photo: Helsinki Design Week

Published 7 August and updated 24 and 31 August and 3 and 11 September.