2016 Helsinki Design Week is the biggest design festival in the Nordics
Set up in 2005 the Helsinki Design Week spreads across the city with numerous displays around design and culture.
The festival is held from 1-11. september it is being spearheaded by events taking place at different locations over different days. You may view the full programme here: Helsinki Design Week Program
Our recommendation for anyone really looking to experience the design week is to take part in the Sauna Talks. You can loo up the events in the program and stroll into any one of the events and continue on with your life. You can buy designer from a stuff and feel better. However, we are betting that our experience at the Sauna Talks will be something different. Don’t get us wrong we love design and appreciate the work that goes into it as well as how it facilitates and enriches our lives. But if you are in Helsinki for an experience we recommend you attend the different events, but that you specifically set aside time, and more importantly gather the necessary courage to actually participate in the Sauna Talks.
The Sauna Talks are a series of talks taking place over at 5 different public saunas – note the talking takes place in and out of the steam rooms – on 10.9. Each talk will be hosted by a “Sauna Major” and has their own specific topic. The talks are open to all, just as long as you bring your own bathing sit and towel.
The Sauna Talks program:
“United in sauna” – Can sauna prevent exclusion and function as a bridge across social classes and districts?
Our comment: The location has just opened, is dead center (like 100 meters from the president’s palace), and is top notch. 2 pools – a “regular” heated pool (27C) and a seawater pool which enables you to swim directly in the Baltic sea. It is the go to place right now, literally having been open for 100 hours or so by the time of the talks, sits right next to the big ferris wheel, and worth visiting just for the venue alone.
“Life cycle sauna” – How does the city adapt itself to various needs and develop its lifecycle approach?
Our comment: A more traditional location from Finnish perspective. If you are up for an experience , you are likely to get more out of this than at one of the new high tech design saunas. This is a place to experience how 100’s of years of sauna tradition is blended into the day to day. A Finn will probably visits the Sea Pool Allas a few times, but feels at home here right from the very first visit.
“Rainbow Sauna” – Let there be diversity: Towards a more equal and egalitarian Finland and sauna culture.
@ Lonna Sauna
Our comment: A beautiful location, on an island just outside Helsinki. The place has an interesting history having served as a base for the mine clearing troops and all the services are hosted in the old buildings. You can get a great view of down town Helsinki from the sea here. Also note the obvious, you can only reach the place by ferry which leaves from Kauppatori.
“New city-cultural sauna” – Let there be diversity: Towards a more equal and egalitarian Finland and sauna culture.
@ Sauna Arla
Our comment: Sauna Arla, just like Sauna Hermanni, look like what going to a public sauna used to look like for 50 years, right until Löyly (the spaceship with a Sauna) landed in Helsinki. Av very traditional experience, in a very lively and traditional part of town. While progress is good, a glass of rose wine or champagne isn’t really part of the Finnish sauna tradition. And as soon as you walk in you can see that they wont be on the menu here.
“Sauna for everyone” – What kind of new interpretations do we have of this very Finnish concept, sauna? What kind of sauna customs can we expect to see in the future?
Our comment: This is a place that got everyone in town excited and talking. Set up by a famous Finnish actor and a Finnish entrepreneur and politician, the building looks like the Sydney opera house and La Defense from Paris went to a Finnish forest and had a baby. Together with the Sea Pool Allas this represents the new age of sauna, while a very different take on the age old tradition, its a welcomed and refereshed approach. Reminds you of what a sauna at a Hilton hotel is like. (If it was built in space.)
Other highlights of the Helsinki Design Week include the Design market at Kaapelitehdas (3-4.9), a stock sale of design from the nordic countries and the HDW HOP installation series (5-11.9) presenting 12 works from individual designers.