Design Helsinki Event: Showcasing Global Talent and Local Innovation

Helsinki, renowned for its vibrant design heritage, is now hosting the annual international Design Helsinki event. This initiative, spearheaded by Media 10, aims to highlight Finnish design on a global stage.


3 min read

Carmen Nguyen

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Media 10 sought a dynamic city to host an influential design event. Helsinki, with its rich design history and contemporary scene, presented the perfect setting.


Embracing Helsinki’s design prowess, Media 10, in partnership with Helsinki Partners, launched Design Helsinki. This event not only celebrates local talent but also invites global participation, fostering a diverse design discourse.


Design Helsinki, now a cornerstone of Helsinki’s cultural calendar, has led to the establishment of Media 10’s local office and team. The event serves as a platform for local designers to gain international acclaim, supporting the city’s creative economy.

UK media group Media 10 organises an annual international design event in Helsinki  

Helsinki’s design legacy

Helsinki has a longstanding relationship with design, notably associated with masters in post-war architecture, industrial design and fashion. Despite this heritage, Finnish design is often under-represented at international design fairs. Hundreds of studios – many of them in the capital Helsinki – are doing world-class design work, yet often struggle to gain the international recognition they deserve.

We scour the globe looking for countries and cities with the right ingredients for these kinds of events. Helsinki ticks all the right boxes.

Hanna Laikola, Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

To address this challenge, UK-based event company Media 10 organised Design Helsinki: an annual two-day event aimed at bringing the international design audience to Finland. The inaugural event took place 25-26 August 2022.

Event organising in Helsinki

Media 10’s office in Helsinki reflects the city’s aptitude for hosting global events. This approach, akin to their Shanghai model, leverages Helsinki’s design showrooms and the International Design Pavilion for a rich event experience. Antti Lumiainen, Senior Advisor at Helsinki Partners, adds,

Helsinki is compact, so it’s possible to organise a walking tour for exhibitions located in different places in the city. Circles are small in Helsinki and people know each other, so it’s also easy to get help and tips in whatever you do. This is really a human-scale city.

Antti Lumiainen, Senior Advisor at Helsinki Partners

Helsinki’s compact design makes it ideal for organizing walking tours across varied event locations, fostering a tight-knit community atmosphere. Additionally, the inclusive rental costs in Helsinki ease budget planning for event organizers, highlighting the city’s practical advantages for hosting events.

A city of collaboration and support

The success of Media 10’s Design Helsinki event is a testament to the power of collaboration. Working hand-in-hand with Helsinki Partners and receiving crucial support from Business Finland, the event exemplifies the synergy of shared expertise and resources.

Hanna Laikola, Design Helsinki’s Brand and Showroom Manager, emphasizes the importance of research and building partnerships in realizing such ventures. She lauds Helsinki Partners for their invaluable guidance, opening doors and creating opportunities for broader involvement. Laikola also highlights Helsinki’s commitment to functional design as a tool for societal betterment, positioning Finland as a sustainable design pioneer on the Nordic stage.

Juhana Hurtig

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