What is the Design Museum like in Helsinki?

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Violetta Teetor

Deeply entrenched in Finnish culture is design, some of it practical, some of it not so practical but always distinguishable for its simplicity and shape.

The permanent exhibition at the Design Museum has an impressive collection of items designed by noteworthy names from the 19thC to the present day. Fiskars scissors are not only attractive but also some of the best on the market, Eero Aarnio’s bubble chair is fun to look at, tactile in its shape and comfy to sit in, Richard Lindh’s Solifer scooter/motorbike from 1960 personifies retro with its rounded blue shape. Not only is this exhibition about beautiful things to look at but it also gives an indication of how life in Finland has changed over the past 200 years.

Celebrating its 140 years of existence, a special exhibit called Parallel Histories is currently running with some top level international designs from Finland arranged thematically according to perspectives of otherness, sexuality, failure, gender, power and other thought provoking issues. The magnificence of Arabia glass and ceramic ware is in the spotlight of this 140-anniversary exhibition as is the Habitare collection showcasing interiors and furniture.

Contributions to the Let’s Build the City project are highlighted by a children’s plan to build a garden in the courtyard of the museum. Let’s Build a Garden invites kids to cultivate all things edible – vegetables, plants, flowers and herbs over the summer months.

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