Thursday, 12 April 2012


Photo Helen Korpak

The Finnish Institute in London is delighted to announce a series of events called HEL/LO – Let’s Talk. They will bring together architecture and design professionals from London and Helsinki for a lively exchange of ideas. The first HEL/LO event kicks off in London 24 May with two further events during the London Festival of Architecture in July and London Design Festival in September. HEL/LO will also travel to Helsinki during Helsinki Design Week in September as the city and its people engage in a year-long exploration of what design can do.
HEL/LO is about promoting dialogue and forging connections. London-based Finnish designer Emmi Salonen of Studio EMMI is creating a strong visual image for the events, including a HEL/LO blog and a set of postcards to reflect the ideas. “At the core of the concept lies a dialogue between Helsinki and London. The logo consists of two circles, hinting towards speech bubbles. By using two typefaces for the logo, English Gill Sans by Eric Gill and Finnish Cider by Tomi Haaparanta, we get the conversation going,” Salonen says. Salonen is also collaborating with Chrissie MacDonald of the creative collective Peepshow to create a customised stage for each event. “Me being a Finn and Chrissie English, will further emphasis the exchange of ideas,” says Salonen. “It remains to be seen where this takes us…”
The Finnish Institute has been busy building links between the Helsinki and London design communities and staging a number of commissions during the last few years. “At London Design Festival 2010, Londoners were wooed by pop up restaurant HEL YES! while in 2011 they found themselves dreaming and listening to performances in the hems of a massive REDDRESS. These have been spaces to share ideas and meet in. They were design-led projects with fresh takes on what the role of the designer is and where design happens,” says Hanna Harris, programme director at the Finnish Institute. “With HEL/LO, we wish to nurture those ideas and multiply the links. Let’s talk."