A person smiling brightly.
Archinfo Finland's director Hanna Harris starts in her new position as Helsinki's chief design officer in March. photo: Juuso Westerlund

Hanna Harris appointed Helsinki’s chief design officer

Director of Archinfo Finland, Hanna Harris starts in her new position of chief design officer at the City of Helsinki on 9 March 2020. The application process for Archinfo’s new director has begun.

City of Helsinki’s new Chief Design Officer Hanna Harris is specialised in making architecture and design visible, and making use of the opportunities they present in society. Harris has directed Archinfo Finland since 2016. Previously, she has worked as programme director for Helsinki Design Week and the Finnish Institute in London.

Design and architecture are essential contributors to the international competitiveness of Helsinki and have a significant role in the city’s strategy as well. In 2016, the City of Helsinki was the first city in the world to hire a chief design officer. Part of the new chief design officer’s task is to emphasise the perspective of urban development. Harris has a background in urban research.

”I am very grateful to our fantastic team, all our member organisations and numerous partners for these four years at Archinfo. Finnish architecture has a lot to give. At Archinfo we witness this in a growing international interest towards Finnish architects and their designs. Likewise, the new national architectural policy work in which we act as the secretary body speaks volumes of architecture’s importance in shaping the future of Finland. In my next role, I will continue to make architecture and design visible, known and strategically significant in the context of my dear home city Helsinki,” Hanna Harris says.

The chief design officer’s position is a 4-year fixed-term assignment. Within the City organisation, the chief design officer will be located in the Urban Environment Division led by Executive Director Mikko Aho.

“Under the leadership of Hanna Harris, Archinfo Finland has developed into a versatile and active influencer in the field of architecture. I believe that the new position will give Harris an excellent opportunity to continue her great work in promoting architecture and design. Archinfo will embrace the upcoming change as any competent organisation would: with an open mind, curiosity, confidence and a pinch of excitement,” says Asko Takala, Chair of the Board.

Archinfo Finland is one of the eight information centres for art supported by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture and a collaboration and intermediary organisation in the field of architecture. Founded in 2013, Archinfo Finland’s objective is to make Finnish architecture visible and known worldwide and to increase the social impact of architecture. Archinfo Finland acts as secretary to the working group preparing a new national architecture policy programme and is in charge of Finland’s representation at the Biennale Architettura in Venice.

The application period for a new director is 22 January – 21 February 2020. The application requirements may be found on Archinfo Finland’s site through this link (in Finnish).