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Helsinki World Design Capital 2012 - 'Everyday Discoveries'

Sam Wilkinson and Hulger - Plumen Light Bulb

Sam Wilkinson and Hulger - Plumen Light Bulb
Marion Deu  chars - ‘Lets Make Some Great Art’

Marion Deu chars - ‘Lets Make Some Great Art’
Marion Deu  chars - ‘Lets Make Some Great Art’

Marion Deu chars - ‘Lets Make Some Great Art’

15 August 2012
by Dorota Drajewicz


The idea of a World Design Capital is to promote and encourage the use of design as a tool for further social, cultural and economic development.


This year the title of World Design Capital is held by Helsinki, where various events and activities are taking place throughout the year in order to celebrate and promote the accomplishments of Finland’s capital.


During September, Britain will be represented in Helsinki with an urban garden designed by Wayward Plants. The design will feature the work of six British designers at the Everyday Discoveries exhibition.


The themes that the exhibition explores include Icon, Invisible, Gathering, Imagination, Innovation and Tradition Reinterpreted.


Margaret Calvert is a renowned typographer and graphic designer who, with colleague Richard 'Jock' Kinneir, designed many of the road signs used throughout the United Kingdom. Margaret’s design for the ‘Children crossing’ sign, commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, will be presented under the theme Icon in the exhibition.

The theme Invisible looks at commonly used objects without a design status. Sam Wilkinson, in collaboration with Hulger, launched The Plumen 001 in 2010, an energy saving light bulb that transforms a traditional everyday product into a design object. The designer abstracted the tubular form of the bulb to transform it into a sculptural object fit to adorn public spaces.

One chair, to join a communal table for an imaginary dinner, is the approach for the Gathering theme where Martino Gamper’s Arnold Circus Stool will be exhibited.

Marion Deuchars, an award winning illustrator, has designed an ideas-packed interactive book to spark creativity in children and to help them explore and gain confidence in their drawing skills. At all times the emphasis is on fun, developing self-expression and engaging the imagination. “Let’s Make Some Great Art” is Marion’s response to the next theme, Imagination.

Innovation: A design or project, which tackles current questions in order to make the world a better place. Michael W. Pritchard’s design for the Lifesaver Systems ‘Nanofiltration Flask’ has been chosen for this section. The flask filters all waterborne pathogens without the aid of chemicals, creating safe sterile drinking water very quickly.

Carlo Volpi presents his ‘Sweater’ designed and exhibited for the Royal College of Art’s ‘Work-in-Progress’ exhibition in 2012 for the final theme, Tradition Reinterpreted. Carlo’s design drew inspiration from futurist Italian sculpture and witch doctors' costumes, the garment was developed as a prototype to test different construction techniques and hand finishings.


In addition to the joint display, countries will be presenting their own designs in separate exhibitions, which will broadly explore day-to-day themes and everyday design.


Exhibition: 6 - 16 September 2012

Opening times: Monday - Friday 12.00 - 20.00

Saturday - Sunday 10.00 - 20.00

British Council Project