World Design Capital in 2012

Ministry of Education and Culture 11.1.2012 12.37
News item

Together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti, Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012. The Finnish state is strongly involved in this project. The Ministry of Education and Culture as well as the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, are providing joint financial support amounting to five million euros.

Helsinki starts its year as World Design Capital 2012 (WDC), together with the surrounding cities of Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti.

WDC 2012 boasts all kinds of events and exhibitions across the capital region. The ideas, submitted by designers and the public, are split into themes under architecture, urban planning, interior design, sustainable design, industrial design and communications design. There are minor events and grand concepts that will still be present after the year is over.

Sowing seeds for the future

Design also often has a social or public dimension – public transport; municipal and private health care; political systems and schooling wouldn’t work without proper design. The design year also aims to create new projects that make Helsinki an even better city to live in, ranging from new service design to information visualisation projects.

- Design helps enterprises and the public sector to take better account of user needs. Design should therefore be utilised much more broadly, particularly by the SME sector, Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies commented at the project presentation held by the ministries, Tekes and Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in Helsinki, on 14 December 2011.

The project is also gathering information and experience for a new national design programme. Prepared by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, this programme will be published at the end of the Design Capital year 2012. It will be developed with an open approach and formed with the help of e.g. social media and workshops.

- I am convinced that the Design Capital year will increase the utilisation of design and improve the employment rate and livelihood of artists and other creative professionals", said Jarmo Lindén, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The budget of the year is more than €16 million - financed by the five cities, Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Ministry of Education and Culture (€5 million), and corporate partners and other sources . The events, programmes and projects related to the Design Capital have their own budgets for 2012 and the total economic scope of the Design Capital is estimated to exceed €100 million.