World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 is a joint venture between the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. Espoo, home to Nokia and Angry Birds, is a bicycle ride away from downtown Helsinki. Vantaa, home to the Heureka Science Center and Helsinki Airport, is the country's port to the rest of the world. Kauniainen is located 15 kilometers west of Helsinki, making it a perfect half-day trip destination. And Lahti, easily reachable by train, is the home of the Institute of Design, one of the most prestigious design schools in Finland.
According to the organisers, ”Just like design itself, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 is literally everywhere around us. You can find it at art galleries, shops or cafes in the Design District Helsinki. Design truly has always been a part of the Finnish way of life.”
The meeting place in the Helsinki city center will be a wooden pavilion, which will be built in spring 2012 in an empty lot between the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Together the pavilion and the museums will form a complex which will be a hub for visitors, professionals and the media during the summer of 2012. The site will also host a café and a wide range of events from discussions and film screenings to Sunday brunches and design markets.