April 29, 2011
Helsinki World Design Capital 2012
“Design is important in our everyday lives, but it is also a strategic tool for competitive business” – Helsinki Design Week.
It is a modern day fact that more than half of the world’s population live in cities and urban areas.
With such a vast number of people residing urbanely, design is an imperative tool in making cities more appealing, competitive and resourceful.
Formed in 1957, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) based in Montreal, aims to promote awareness and encouragement that design can help to improve the cultural, economical and social life of a city.
In order to achieve its goals, the ICSID inaugurated the World Design Capital project, in celebration of the architectural and design accomplishments of cities and to promote further design developments.
Whilst most of us have heard about the European Capital of Cultural, designated by the European Union, who crowns a city ‘Capital of Culture’ for a duration of one year, the World Design Capital remains less well known.
Although its relative anonymity is probably due to the fact that the World Design Capital is only in its third year running, and, as time goes by, is likely to attract the widespread notoriety of the EU’s Capital of Culture.
The 2012 World Design Capital winner could help bring the project out of the shadows of the Capital of Culture and into the limelight. For those who have visited the Finnish capital of Helsinki, you will understand why the city has been named World Design Capital 2012 by ICSID.
Design is at the heart of Helsinki, with fashion boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, museums, design studios and design hotels, lining this unique and vibrant city’s streets. In Helsinki, so fervent is the drive for design, that it has become the booster for the city’s development.
A series of conferences, exhibitions and other events related to the innovations of design and architecture are to take place in Helsinki in the forthcoming year, organised by the International Design Foundation in Helsinki.
The events will be planned with the help of an advisory board, which will include Juulia Kauste, the director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Helena Hyvonen, the executive dean of the Aalto University of Art and Design.
Two years ago, Seoul became the second city to be given the World Design Capital title. The award has not only increased the designers of Seoul’s recognition on the worldwide stage, but it has brought economic growth to the South Korean capital, highlighting the multi-faceted gains of design.