Helsinki (Finland) – Helsinki has recently unveiled the final Programme of Events for World Design Capital 2012. More than 250 projects will be realised over 366 days, including six signature events that are produced with Icsid. Icsid is very pleased with the programme and encourages Icsid members and friends from around the world to visit Helsinki and participate in these events.

The first event of the year will be the New Year’s Eve celebration, the first signature event, and will kick-off the most extensive programme of design events ever realised in Finland. The programme was created for citizens and tourists alike, with over 100 special exhibitions and special development projects under the themes of “Changing City” and “New Solutions”. The programme is built with the objective of fostering smarter cities by communicating the role of design. World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 promises to deliver a series of inspiration design-centric events in not only the nation’s capital, but also in four neighbouring municipalities: Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti.

“The World Design Capital designation allows Icsid members, and the world to turn its attention to a design effective city and learn from its best practices,” said Icsid President Prof. Soon-in Lee. “Over the course of the next year we will be inspired by an outstanding programme of events in Helsinki. I hope to see many Icsid members and friends in Finland in 2012.”

“The World Design Capital is all about making a better city. Above all, our goal is to make a permanent impact. This is more than a year of events or a festival – we want to make the role of design visible,” says Pekka Timonen, Executive Director of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

On 31 December 2011, the celebrations begin with a countdown to midnight, the official start of the World Design Capital year for Helsinki. Focussed on design led resolutions for the new year, key participants will share their resolutions and encourage others to appreciate the value of design when making their resolutions. This public celebratory event will be co-hosted by Icsid President Prof. Soon-in Lee and Mayor of Helsinnki, Jussi Pajunen. Invitations are open to the national and international community, and participants will convene at the heart of Helsinki, in the Senate Square before midnight. Warmed by hot chocolate, guests will enjoy music, light shows and the Helsinki Cathedral coming alive with an elaborate 3D projection creating a design focused environment to welcome this symbolic New Year with Helsinki as World Design Capital 2012.

This second core event in the series of WDC Signature events is the Design Gala, taking place in the world-renowned Sibelius Hall, in Lahti (Finland). Holding this outstanding design event in Lahti communicates to the local and global community the collaborative synergies between Helsinki and its key municipal partners who have together embraced the spirit of the World Design Capital movement. The evening of Thursday 2 February 2012 will be built around the presentation of the inaugural World Design Impact Prize. Two important national Finnish prizes will also be awarded during the Design Gala to highlight local awards with global relevance: the Alvar Aalto Medal for recognising contributions to creative architecture and the Estlander Prize rewarding significant work in promoting crafts and industrial design.

Icsid members and friends are welcome to attend the WDC Design Gala, and tickets are available for purchase by the International Design Foundation. Please contact Sanna-Mari Jäntti, Development Director, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, at for more information.

For more information, please click on the links below:

New Year’s Eve

World Design Capital Design Gala

Please consult to find your way to Helsinki and take part in the World Design Capital 2012 Programme