Wednesday, September 1, 2010

hopes up.

i am in a great mood. partly it is due to the beautiful sunlight that illuminated my way to work this morning. helsinki is incredibly beautiful in the fall.

in greater part it is because of last night and the international media dinner for world design capital 2012 i attended at telakkaranta. i think it probably cleared my vision this morning.

the space had been turned from a dumpster to a surprisingly cosy loft just overnight. there were historical photos of the area on the walls, the eclectic looking – and sounding – tampo band from tampere provided the sonic ambiance and the atmosphere was cool and casual.

the design capital project is finally kicking off, and about a hundred media professionals and designers gathered to hear what we have to expect. although very little was revealed – i guess they're still coming up with the content – it bothered us fairly little. the ongoing helsinki design week and helsinki festival provided entertainment for the visitors and everyone seemed genuinely pleased with what they were experiencing.

we listened to the development plans of the shipyards and continued conversations around long dinner tables. we contemplated about the possibilities of creating such vast residential areas without ghettofying them. we had discussions about finnish food culture and the prospects of political and cultural change that thriving for excellence might bring about. we came about imaginations of taking development into our own hands, having and using the power to change our environment for the better. embedding design in life, as the slogan for helsinki's year states.

yet, there was none of the often complained naivety of believing that design itself could bring about change or improvements, but wholesome analyses about what truly makes meaningful design and the added relevance of creating living spaces that benefit through design.

there was such positivity and entrepreneurship in the air, people were smiling and sharing. pure vodka drinks with fresh seasonal berries from finlandia, eat and joy buffet dinner from organic local delicacies, the warm and inspiring dinner company of an urban planning professor and architect from cairo, the dozens of people i had the pleasure to meet briefly who all shared the air of excitement and, to top it all off, karaoke with alfredo häberli.

there is plenty to do and very little time, but i firmly believe that there is fertile ground for greatness here. the vastness of the project boggles the mind, and i truly hope that the results will provide more than the most obvious implementations and advances as the usual commercial ones.

take part in the process, and suggest, propose, inspire. although the idea bank at their website is closed, there are many ways to get involved.

i am truly inspired.

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