Skip to Content

What to see during Helsinki Design Week 2021

This year’s Helsinki Design Week, the largest design festival of the Nordics, takes place on 9–19 September. We have gathered some tips for architecture enthusiasts from among 80 events. Check the full Helsinki Design Week programme through this link


Online Talk: Forensic Architecture
11 Sept. 13.00–15.00

How can architectural tools and thinking be used for forensic analysis? How to understand and challenge public space, violence and politics with these tools and thinking? How to investigate police violence, human rights violations, genozide and ecocide as interconnected processes? This online talk opens up the work of professor Eyal Weizman and research agency Forensic Architecture through case studies presentations and conversations.  

More information about the event through this link.

Webinar: Building Better Helsinki
15 Sept. 15.00–16.00

Newil & Bau produces an online seminar around the ambition of housing architecture and the future urban development in Helsinki. What is the role of architecture and should it reflect time? Will the needs of the habitants of future Helsinki be fulfilled? 

After a panel discussion held in Finnish, Steven Holl, known as Kiasma’s architect, will give an interview in English. The interview focuses on how Holl sees the role of architecture in Helsinki’s urban development.

More information about the event through this link.

Presentation: The Future of Housebuilding
16 Sept. 12.00–13.00

How will cutting-edge gaming technology change the way we buy and build homes? See how Unreal Engine 5 gaming technology is being leveraged by Asumma Homes to transform the home-building process, eventually enabling people to real-time configure their dream home in a 3D-immersive, photorealistic environment.

Pre-registration required. More information about the event through this link.

Webinar: Architecture and Design Learning on Both Sides of The Atlantic
17 Sept 19.00–20.30

In this webinar, speakers from both sides of the Atlantic (Helsinki and New York) will discuss various pedagogies in architecture and design learning from each region, highlighting innovative developments in k-12 education curriculum, while revealing new forms of architecture and design accessibility from their respective institutions. Eeva Astala from Archinfo Finland will be joining the panel discussion.

Pre-registration required. More information about the event through this link.

In the city

Exhibition: New Standards Mini-exhibition
Aleksanterinkatu 7, Helsinki
8 Sept. – 31 Oct. 
around the clock

The New Standards mini-exhibition tells the story of Puutalo Oy, presented at the 17t International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.The exhibition is part of Archinfo Finland’s biennale side program and will be on display in the windows of the Ministry of the Environment around the clock. The texts in the exhibition are in Finnish and in Swedish. 

More information about the exhibition through this link

Exhibitions: Museum of Finnish Architecture
Kasarmikatu 24, Helsinki
Starting from 10 Sept.
Tue–Sun 11.00–18.00

Three new exhibitions will open at the Museum of Finnish Architecture: Hope from Wood, Deciphering roof-trusses – Exploring medieval wooden sturctures and Forensic Architecture: Outsourcing Risk. The opening of the exhibitions will be celebrated with opening videos on the social media and website of the Museum of Finnish Architecture on Thursday September 9, 2021. You can visit the new exhibitions on site and online.

More information about the exhibitions through this link.

Installation: Time of Miracles
National Museum courtyard 
Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki
19 Aug. – 19 Sept. 

International artist group Haan Collective’s installation Time of miracles draws inspiration from the myths of how the world was created in the Kalevala epos. The work challenges the viewer to stop and marvel at the fragility of life. The work can be viewed free of charge in the museum’s courtyard park from 19 August to 19 September 2021 daily from 7 am to 9 pm.

More information about the installation and the artists through this link.

Walk: Street Photography
Mikonkatu 1, Helsinki
14 Sept. 5.30–19.30

This Street Photo Walk is a refreshing workshop run by Lorenzo ‘SerraGlia’ Servi, an Italian-born architect, visual artist/designer living in Finland. Inspired by the Readymade and Situationist movements, this Street Photo Walk aims to transform the banal into the extraordinary, the unseen into things to admire. Participants are invited to explore the urban scape with new eyes, observe the city from a more curious perspective and photograph interesting urban findings.

Tickets 15 €. More information about the event through this link.

Exhibition: Designs for a Cooler Planet
Väre, Kipsari Lobby
Otaniementie 14, Espoo
8–29 Sept.

Under three subthemes, Designs for a Cooler Planet event presents glimpses of a wiser future with thirty of Aalto’s research-based projects. The exhibitions can be experienced either online or by visiting the galleries at Otaniemi. 

Visits to the exhibitions must be booked in advance. More information and the complete programme can be found through this link.

Here are some architecture related exhibitions. 

Interplay of Cultures Studio: Sámi

The Interplay of Cultures Studio, year 2021, originates in the Sámi culture of Finnish Northern Lapland / Sápmi. From a collaboration with the Siida museum and representatives of the Sámi communities in Inari, Finland, the studio sheds some light on rich Sámi history and culture as well as the complex political and future challenges of the Arctic landscape. The outcome displays a set of projects in most scales, from regional planning to local solutions, designs and hand sized objects.

Main Street Project 

The project aims to correct the legacy of modernist traffic planning in a city environment, where there are no streets – just roads. A car-oriented traffic milieu can become a lively street and a site of community and various user groups. 

Travel Architecture on the Arctic Circle

The exhibition showcases design projects by Master’s students of architecture in Building Design Studio. Architectural concepts for an Arctic hotel and accommodation units in the Rovaniemi area on the Arctic circle are presented. The designs focus on the sustainability and energy efficiency of the buildings while also taking into consideration the unique and fragile landscape of Lapland. 

Nubia:No More

The Nubia: No More exhibition opens a discussion on Nubian vernacular architecture while comparing it to the modern-day use of earthen architecture, explaining the phenomena of abandoning vernacular architectural practices, and finally elaborating the destructive outcome of High Aswan Dam.

Events for children

HDW Children’s Windows
Keskuskatu 3 & 4, Mikonkatu 5, Helsinki
10–19 Sept.

HDW Children’s Windows is an experimental step in opening Helsinki’s city centre to children’s culture, exhibitions and events. The event will be implemented with installations planned for the display windows of Keskuskatu and nearby blocks. The installations will be completed in front of the public on 10–11 September and will be freely visible around the clock, throughout Helsinki Design Week’s dates. 

More information about the event through this link

Other events

Durat Showroom Open House
Albertinkatu 6, Helsinki
16 Sept. 10.00–18.00 

Open house in a new Durat Showroom design by Linda Bergroth. Various pieces of furniture such as kitchen fittings made from Durat´s solid surface material are displayed in the Showroom. 

More information through this link.

Grado Showroom Opening
Kauppalantie 2, Helsinki
16 Sept.

Grado Design opens a new showroom to Haaga, Helsinki. The staircase collection is divided into floating, metal balustrade and glass railing stairways. There are seven different staircase models on display. 

Visits to the Showroom must be booked in advance. More information through this link.

Pukkila Open Showroom
Eteläranta 2 A1a, Helsinki
13–17 Sept.
Mon–Thu  10.00–20.00
Fri 10.00–18.00

Pukkila showcases its tile novelties in its new work space in Eteläranta. 

More information through this link.

Cover Story Paint Studio – Paint Your Story
Bulevardi 17, Helsinki
9–18 Sept.
Mon–Fri 9.00–18.00
Sat 11.00–16.00

Cover Story interior paints are 100% plastic-free, water-borne and VOC-free. The Paint Studio has everything you need for painting – adhesive A4 color samples, paints and durable painting supplies.

More information through this link.