The 16th annual Helsinki Design Week will be held on 3–13 September 2020. The festival events will again spread throughout the city: from museums to markets, from seminar halls to secret shops, from studios to showrooms and from offline to online events and encounters.
Helsinki Design Week is a series of responsibly organized events of varying sizes. It is not a festival at one single venue holding thousands of visitors. With regards to possible restrictions on venues or visitors due to the international health crisis, the festival has the means and opportunity to multiply into smaller events or use new digital methods of exhibiting content.
Helsinki Design Week’s statement for 2020 is Commitment Matters – a theme that raises questions regarding the meaning and value of designing. The phrase is a stimulus for thought, and the theme is meant to be used as a tool for everyone taking part in the festival: the event organizers, the exhibitors, the seminar speakers and the visitors. As main partner of the festival the City of Helsinki is supporting the safe and responsible organization of the festival.
The festival visuals celebrate the legendary Helsinki Olympic Stadium, combining its functionalistic architecture with vivid and energetic colours from the athletic world. Historic photos from the 1940s will highlight the design and history of the restored monument.
The main venue: the Olympic Stadium
The main venue of Helsinki Design Week will be the Olympic Stadium. With its large and airy spaces, it is a perfect spot for safe encounters. The stadium is open on 11–13 September for guided tours and for Children’s Design Weekend.
The Stadium is also home to the main exhibition, a series of installations on design, architecture and fashion, presenting interesting design from unique pieces to large scale set ups. A review of top young designers is not to be missed.
The Olympic Stadium will also host an event that may well become the biggest PechaKucha Night ever held. The evening of September 12 is reserved for 10 presentations, each less than 7 minutes long. The idea of PechaKucha, Japanese for “chit chat”, is simple: 20 slides and 20 seconds of commentary on a theme chosen by the presentator. The guest speakers will be published in early August.
Design sale and guided tours
The most popular autumn design sale, the Design Market, will open Helsinki Design Week on 3–5 September 2020. The event will be held online through a site listing vendors and offers in webshops and city boutiques. The Design Market offers sample sales and good bargains from notable brands. All of the vendors are committed to environmentally sound design and products.
Open door events on 9-10 September offer guided tours to meet local designers. Open Studios is an event open to all. It takes us to meet local architects, graphic designers and creative minds at their own studios. Open Showrooms is meant for professional audiences and members of the media. Guided tours offer visits to the world of production, manufacture and import.
Minigalleries on screens
For two weeks, Helsinki Design Week will take over more than 20 advertising screens in downtown Helsinki. The Open Screens campaign allows new encounters between design and Helsinkians.
The full programme of Helsinki Design Week and Children’s Design Week will be released in early August 2020.
The main partner of the event is the City of Helsinki. The event is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Helsinki Design Week, 3 – 13 September, 2020.
Helsinki Design Week has been organized annually every September since 2005. With a festival programme of around 250 events every year, it is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Helsinki Design Week is produced by Luovi Productions Ltd, founded in 1995 by Kari Korkman.