Yes, North is the place to go and be this year! And when I say North, I mean on Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. These cities are hosting a wide range of events throughout 2012 as Helsinki has been selected and awarded to be World Design Capital, after Seoul and Torino and right before Cape Town in 2014.
Totally agree – there is hardly any city in the world that incorporates design in such natural born and spontaneous way as Helsinki. Or, in true democratic way – to express it as recently being said in the event that I visited. Design in Finland is not something elite and that belongs only to secluded artistic circles; there is hardly household that does not have dishes from Iittala, table cloths and curtains from Marimekko or Tapiovaara chairs, just to name few. On a big scale, Aalvar Aalto enriched with his idea not only urban skylines and exteriors but also came in our living rooms. Furniture such as … belong today to classics. After all, Nokia revolutionized the design of telecommunications equipment at its early stages and brought product design to masses throughout the world. On a much smaller, but more exclusive scale, there is also Mia Maljojoki, with her avant-garde jewelry design, who I had chance to meet in the event and who belong today to one of the most prominent designers in the field.
Another thing that I learned the other evening were less arty in its nature and more ‘practical’ and money related. Did you know that extremely positive market development of financial portfolio of design industry companies is almost identical to the one of emerging industries and is way above the standard S&P 500 companies?
This will be a hot year and a hot summer up north. There is hardly a nation that is so quiet and subtle in conventional communication and so loud and distinctive in artistic expression. And I would love to somehow be part of it!