The Helsinki Design week is an annual event and is organized since 2005.
Kari Korkman is the soul behind of it all and calls himself I think a design producer is a very nice and approachable person. My only question about these events is that they are one off every year and take place all together in the end of summer beginning of autumn. In the dark winter months very little is happening (apart from the Forces of Light that have been shrinking every year). On the other hand, as Helsinki is a small capital and Finland in general has a strong tradition and appreciation of design, you can imagine that everything that is happening is showcasing in Helsinki.
By this I mean that there are a lot design shops, galleries, and design is more or less part of every day life for the middle class. It is interesting though that for instance Marimekko which is a legendary brand has a huge range of products to fulfill needs and desires of lower income earners too. As I say: there is no household without at least one Marimekko product. From my perspective Finnish designers are somehow trying to overcome the conventions of Finnish design and without losing their distinct identity to become more international. Multiculturalism in this small country is a big issue, as NOKIA expands and internationalization worries especially peoples of recent nations.
Michail Galanakis, UIAH Helsinki (email:Michail.Galanakis@taik.fi)
see also the post below