Saturday, June 16, 2012

Helsinki FRESH Exhibition: Direktorenhaus, Berlin until July 8, 2012

Here's a design review that I wrote for Berlin fashion newspaper DERZEIT... Stay tuned for more in the lead up to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

Helsinki FRESH: 25 Young Creatives is the book accompanying the exhibition

It’s no secret amongst design trendsetters: Helsinki is so hot right now. It’s the 2012 World Design Capital, design bible Monocle named it the world’s most liveable city, and now Berliners can view Helsinki’s freshest design talents without journeying beyond the U-bahn.

Arts co-operative Helsinki FRESH has taken over Berlin’s Direktorenhaus with installations from 25 creatives featured in its recent publication (launched last month and on-sale in the exhibition’s pop-up shop). It’s the first Berlin event staged by the creative agency, which was founded to promote cultural exchange between the two design-conscious cities. The exhibition is fashion-focused – incorporating textile design, illustration and photography – but the participants have customized their allocated spaces in diverse ways, and with varying degrees of success.

We’re suckers for Marimekko, the Finnish company whose bold, retro prints defined Modernist textile design, so we loved Jenni Tuominen’s lounging area of oversized, screen-printed objects. The Pattern Bakery, a studio specializing in patterned designs and illustrations, showcased their work on the panels of giant origami paper cranes – the Direktorenhaus’ wooden ceiling installation proved to the perfect setting for these guys (it even smelt like a Nordic pine forest!). 

The Pattern Bakery's Miia Pöytälaakso does fine tuning for height of origami birds
Photo: Heidi Uutela
Design Forum Finland has a pop-up shop at the exhibition, and the products show that leather craft and eco-friendly materials and processes – as well as textile design – are common strengths amongst this bunch.

Helsinki FRESH runs until 8th July, and is throwing a Finnish Midsummer Party on 22nd June including food, drinks, music and sauna.

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