From the colorful prints of Marimekko to Ittala glassware and the functional Artek furniture, Finland is not short of leading names in the world of design.
The Nordic nation is a major destination for anyone interested in art and design, and there’s no better place to discover the details than the Finnish capital and UNESCO city of design, Helsinki.
A European city of design
While the city of Helsinki itself is quite compact, almost half of Finland’s 5.5 million residents live in and around the capital region.
In 2014, Helsinki became the first Nordic city to be designated a UNESCO Design City. Part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the Design City designation recognizes Helsinki’s design-focused cultural landscape, design schools and design-driven creative industries.
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A visit to Helsinki isn’t just about design museums and shopping opportunities. The city itself is a constantly evolving example of integrated design thinking. Baking user perspective into the design process applies to the design of objects but also public services, public spaces and visual identities across the city.
Contemporary architecture is also a feature of any city break in Helsinki, whether you deliberately visit the buildings or simply admire them as you wander past on your way elsewhere.
The striking wooden facade of Oodi Library and the fascinating Temppeliaukio—better known as the rock church—are particular highlights.