• Aleksi Niemelä: HEL/LO Let's Talk About Tomorrow
  • HEL/LO – LET'S TALK 2012

    HEL/LO – Let's Talk was a series of talks organised by The Finnish Institute in 2012, bringing together architecture and design professionals for a lively exchange of ideas.

    Curated by Hanna Harris, Programme Director for Arts & Culture at the Finnish Institute in London, and Blueprint magazine's Senior Writer, Owen Pritchard, HEL/LO aimed to promote dialogue and collaboration between Helsinki and London through an exploration of the design culture in each capital and the pressing issues architects and designers face.

    Four HEL/LO events took place during the year 2012 between May and September: three of them in London and one in Helsinki. All four events were linked to significant design events such as London Design Design Week and London Festival of Architecture as well as Helsinki Design Week.

    The HEL/LO series launched in May with HEL/LO – Let’s Talk About Dreams, which demonstrated that it can be important to think the impossible in order to start something new – and to actively share your dreams with the people around you. Our second discussion HEL/LO – Let’s Talk About Games discussed the relationship between cities, public space and games. HEL/LO – Let’s Talk About Alternatives brought the discussion to Helsinki 12 September, during Helsinki Design Week. We talked about alternative ways of thinking and doing in design, and drank hot autumn toddies. Only A week later our designers set up the custom-made HEL/LO stage for the last time at designjunction, one of London Design Festival’s main venues. The fourth and final discussion HEL/LO – Let’s Talk About Tomorrow turned out to be a feisty exchange of ideas.

    For Johnny Tucker, editor of Blueprint magazine, the series highlighted fascinating aspects of the two design cultures.

    "Although we are obviously facing very similar issues as far as cities, design and architecture goes in Europe, we have markedly different approaches to how we deal with them, a lot of which is rooted in our national cultural values. To be able to share those visions and ultimately broaden experience and allow ourselves to break through some of the boundaries we are often not aware we have, is so valuable," he says.

    The visual look for the series was designed by Finnish born, now london-based designer Emmi Salonen. Salonen was also collaborating with Chrissie MacDonald from the creative collective Peepshow to create a customised stage for each event – their design proved to be real eye candy.

    HEL/LO - Let's Talk was s part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 international programme of events.

    Read more about the series in our HEL/LO Let's Talk blog here.

Wednesday, 12th December 2012