The theme of this year’s Helsinki Design Week is wisdom, and we believe that play and creativity are wisdom in its greatest form! With play, we can solve problems: there is creativity in all of us, and it is not something that can be automated. As part of the Helsinki Design Week programme, we offer a series of online events in English, inspired by our current main exhibition, Iittala – Kaleidoscope: From Nature to Culture. The Kaleidoscope events offer a versatile perspective on play and creativity as well as on Finnish glass design.
The Kaleidoscope Festival will contain five consecutive online events held on the Instagram account of the Design Museum from 10 to 14 September. The five live streams each offer a unique approach to creativity. These events will allow us to explore the Iittala exhibition through the eyes of children, discuss the requirements of creativity with a designer, hear the ideas of Senior Curator Paola Antonelli from MoMA on how design methods can be used to solve problems in the future and view Finnish design from the perspective of the other side of the Atlantic. The Kaleidoscope events will enable you to explore the Iittala factory and its glassmaking workshop brimming with creativity.
The Design Museum’s summer exhibition, Iittala – Kaleidoscope: From Nature to Culture, will be open until 19 September.
Part 1 Harri Koskinen – Glass designers creativity
Friday 10 September at 6 p.m., in English
In the first episode of the festival, we get to peek behind the scenes at the Iittala Glass Factory! Is there room for creativity and experimentation in a glass factory in today’s world? Designer Harri Koskinen meets a seasoned glassblower Tero Välimaa at the Iittala Glass Factory and they discuss the unique collaborations that take place in the factory’s glassmaking studio, where glass acquires the form of the designer’s vision in the hands of a professional. What kind of things inspire the professionals and what kinds of innovations can emerge from collaboration at its best? In a tour of the factory, we learn about traditional glassmaking and get an insider’s view of the miracle of glassmaking.
Part 2 Paola Antonelli – Design’s role in culture and society
Saturday 11 September at 6 p.m.
Iittala’s Instagram Live / The talk will be published on Design Museum´s Instagram TV at 7 pm.
The second episode of the Kaleidoscope Online Festival series features Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York City. She will share her thoughts on design’s role in culture and society and we will hear what Finnish design looks like from the other side of the Atlantic. Antonelli was involved in the creation and production of the Design Emergency collaborative series, which explores the role of design as a tool for building a better future. Antonelli will be interviewed by Jukka Savolainen, the Museum Director of the Design Museum.
Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Architecture & Design, and MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her most recent exhibition, Broken Nature, opened at MoMA in November 2020. She is also currently working on @design.emergency, an Instagram and book project that explores design’s role in building a better future for all, in collaboration with critic Alice Rawsthorn.
Part 3 Online workshop: Find inspiration in your immediate surroundings
Sunday 12 September at 6 p.m.
What does nature mean to you? In this Online-workshop participants are taken on a 20-minute tour of the natural surroundings nearby the city in Helsinki. The tour will help you learn to enjoy and find inspiration in nature near you, giving you a respite from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. After this tour, you can also go ahead and do this exercise by yourself by listening to an audio recording Verta has made especially for us. You can find the recording later on this page.
You can listen to the recording here.
Part 4 The Iittala exhibition through the eyes of a child
Monday 13 September at 6 p.m.
A group of children visits the Iittala – Kaleidoscope exhibition. What do the exhibition and its artefacts look like through the eyes of a child? Which are the essential elements that grab their attention?
Part 5 Alfredo Häberli – Play your way through designers block
Tuesday, Sep 14 at 6 p.m., in English
The final episode of the Kaleidoscope festival will feature a designer of international fame, Alfredo Häberli. The topics of discussion will include the requirements and obstacles of creativity. We will learn, for example, what kind of things have inspired him as a designer and how to get over designer’s block. We will also discuss the product range of Essence glasses, for which Häberli has won several distinguished design awards, including the iF and Les Découvertes prizes. Häberli will be interviewed by Päivi Niemi, the Creative Lead at the Iittala and Arabia Design Centre.