Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Helsinki - The World Design Capital 23.1.2012

With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, design has become an increasingly fundamental tool to make cities more competitive, attractive, liveable and efficient. The World Design Capital designation is a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design announced, that the appointment of WDC 2012 has been conferred to the City of Helsinki (Finland). Announced during the closing ceremony of the Icsid World Design Congress in Singapore, Helsinki will move on to be the third city to hold the biennial designation in 2012. Appointed to cities based on their accomplishments and commitment to design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development, the WDC designation is an ambitious project initiated and managed by Icsid to promote the impact of design on quality of life. Since its inception in 2004, the project has developed into a tangible venture and is being recognised internationally for its ability to showcase the merits of design-led initiatives within various municipalities.
For the City of Helsinki, design has for decades been a pivotal enabler to building an open city. The concept of ‘Embedded Design’ has tied design to innovation and has enabled desirable solutions that have addressed the needs of its inhabitants. Helsinki Design is also part of world design – it is created together with the international design community and the people of the world. Helsinki Design includes well-known global brands, such as Nokia, Kone and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Helsinki Design Week, outstanding education and research institutions, such as the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and exemplary architects and designers such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto. Helsinki is a vibrant community – a great place to work, live and explore. A modern landscape where talented individuals encompass every sphere of international and Finnish society, it is a hotbed for innovation and a positive environment for creative industries. The City of Helsinki will follow in the footsteps of Torino (Italy) and Seoul (South Korea) to develop an inviting programme for 2012.
The Future City stamp booklet, which celebrates Helsinki’s position as the World Design Capital, presents seven new stamp designers who were awarded in the open design competition organized online in spring 2011. The highly popular competition produced a total of 1,422 designs, of which the jury and the public selected eight for the final stamp booklet. The competition winners include professionals in graphic design, amateur designers and two children. The eight designs awarded in the competition were:-
Future City by Chloe Chapeaublanc, a French graphic designer; Onnela by Sini Henttonen, a student of textile art and design from Helsinki; Citykani by Katja Hynninen, a textile designer from Tampere; Kaupungin liike by Daniel Kallsrtöm, a schoolboy from Helsinki; Asenne by Ville Korhonen, a graphic designer from Lahti; Tulevaisuus rohkeana by Elias Ollila, a 6-year-old boy from Espoo; and Color Power and Mix by Varpu Kangas, a freelance graphic designer from Helsinki.
The World Design Capital is an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design - an international non-governmental organisation that aims to protect and promote the profession of industrial design. Ella sent me this lovely FDC and booklet issued on 23.1.2012.

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