Arctic Design Week. When Design faces the theme of happiness

In Rovaniemi, Finland, a serie of meetings, exhibitions and debates will tell contemporary Finnish design.

Arctic Design Week

Finland is a country of just five million people, but has had an incredible influence on international design. Finnish masters like Alvar Aalto or Eero Saarinen have become absolute myths because of their revolutionary impact in the European and American design culture.

The Arctic Design Week 2019 will be held in Rovaniemi from 18 to 24 March: an example of what design means today in Nordic culture. It is sufficient to observe how the program was developed to understand that the themes and sensitivity are “other”, different from the Design Week we are usually used to.

The first two days, defined by the organizers “Student Days”, will be mainly dedicated to students: there will be talks, conferences, exhibitions where students’ projects will be exhibited, such as the innovative outdoor clothing “Northen City”, designed for extreme climatic conditions of those living in northern cities. Meetings and exhibitions will be held at the University of Lapland, one of Finland’s leading design universities.

Arctic Design Week
The Arctic Design Week will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland from 18 to 24 March 2019

The days between 20 and 22 March are mainly dedicated to workshops and exhibitions about the central theme of the festival, “Design for Happiness”. Thirteen designers will discuss how happiness can be designed: an important theme for a nation that is always at the top of the rankings among the happiest countries in the world, a record that strongly contrasts with the data on alcoholism and suicide rate. A demonstration of how happiness is a complex but above all heard topic, in which the project can make its contribution.

The theme reserved for the last two days confirms again that we are in Northern Europe: they have been called the “Family Days”, they include workshops for children and parallel activities for their parents. Because design is a factor of personal and social growth, and should be taught from childhood.

The ability of Finnish design to remain central in the cultural debate depends on a series of factors that are difficult to summarize: probably Arctic Design Week is an opportunity to try to better understand what the Finns mean by the expression “Nordic spirit”.

Arctic Design Week 2019
Opening dates:
18–24 March 2019
Rovaniemi, Finland

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