The very first North European Design Symposium (NEDS) will be arranged in conjunction with the Habitare fair. It will explore Finnish design and the materials it uses now and in the future. The daily themes at the five-day symposium are service design, visual communication, package design, innovations, and creativity. The Habitare fair will take place in the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre from September 12-16.
The North European Design Symposium will bring together professionals in design and business, and teachers and students of design. The themes range from the latest design visions and trends, to challenges and business development needs and possibilities such as intelligent materials. The underlying idea is to promote the shift of focus from aesthetics to usability and sustainable branding.
Speakers and discussion leaders include leading Finnish and international experts such as Sven Ehmann (Gestalten), Pekka Mattila (Aalto University), Marco Mäkinen (TBWA Helsinki), Hannu Kähönen (Creadesign) and Renne Angelvuo (Win Win Branding).
The symposium will host its own stand at the fair. The Euro Publications Finland stand will present design, architecture, graphic design and home decoration literature from international publishers. Created by Skanno, the stand will also be a venue for informal meetings and discussions with the visiting speakers. NEDS is produced by Euro Publications, in partnership with Habitare and the Finnish Fair Corporation. The symposium is supported by the Ornamo Foundation, Grafia Association of Professional Graphic Designers in Finland and Skanno.
The design of the future will be the theme covered on the Estradi stage in Habitare’s Interiore public spaces area on Wednesday and Friday, as new design concepts and future designs for the immediate environment will be discussed.
On Thursday, Anders Färdig, the CEO of Design House Stockholm, will give a speech on the topic “Scandinavian Design as a competitive edge” on the Ahead! Forum stage. This is the company’s first appearance at the Habitare fair.
This year, the theme for the Ahead! design area is ‘responsibility’. Elaborating on the theme, in a panel discussion entitled “Sustainable Interior Architecture” on the Ahead! Forum stage, will be Andreas Dornbracht, the CEO of Dornbracht, the world’s leading manufacturer of bathroom fixtures; the company’s head designer Christian Sieger; and Arni Aromaa, the CEO of Pentagon Design.
Every year, Ahead! invites a number of design institutions to take part in the fair and present their views to the design audience. The theme assigned to the institutions in 2012 is “Responsibility in design”, in alignment with the Ahead! theme. The institutions will carry out an assignment under the theme, in collaboration with a foreign institution of their choice.
The institutions will take the stage on Friday and present their projects. Participating institutions from Finland include the Aalto University, the University of Lapland and the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Participants from outside Finland include the University of Tennessee and the Caxias do Sul University, Brazil.
Habitare, the largest furniture, interior decoration and design fair in Finland, will next take place from September 12-16, as part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program.