Past capital: Helsinki

Helsinki was the World Design Capital 2012. Find out more about this beautiful city.

Helsinki, the Capital of Finland, is right in the middle of the Baltic Sea region, with easy access to East and West, and fast access to other European Union countries. A great place to work and live, stable and safe, with a very high standard of living and welfare, Helsinki is at the same time, an excellent location for business. About a quarter of the Finnish population – more than one million people – live in the Helsinki region, which is central to every sphere of Finnish society from public administration, to commerce, arts and sciences.

Helsinki is compact: institutions are networked, intertwined and interdependent. Finland is one of the most competitive global economies, with innovation, research and development as cornerstones of its competitiveness.

The appointment of World Design Capital 2012 was conferred to the City of Helsinki  in November 2009  during the Icsid World Design Congress in Singapore.

Open Helsinki – Embedding Design in Life

In Helsinki, design is the enabler of building an open city, the booster of its social, economic and cultural development. This concept of Embedded Design ties design to innovation from its very beginning. Design oversees the realisation of the inhabitants’ needs and, in the final stages, ensures that the solution is desirable. This is how inventions, technologies and systems are developed into innovations suitable for everyday use.

Helsinki Design is also part of world design – it is created together with the international design community and the people of the world. Helsinki Design includes well-known global brands, such as Nokia, Kone and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Helsinki Design Week, first class education and research institutions, such as University of Art and Design Helsinki, and strong traditions, for example architects and designers Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto.



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