Dezeen Magazine

DesignCommons event in Helsinki aims to find solutions to world issues

Dezeen promotion: Winy Maas and Studio Swine are set to take part in the inaugural DesignCommons event in Helsinki, which will see designers and architects talk about issues currently facing the industry and wider world.

DesignCommons, a concept created by Design Indaba in collaboration with Helsinki Design Week, takes place on 14 September at the Clarion Hotel.

It forms part of the new World Design Weeks Summit programme, which invites organisers and participants of international design weeks and festivals to congregate for meetings, exhibitions and excursions.

Design duo Studio Swine will be speaking at the event, which takes place during Helsinki Design Week in September

"DesignCommons is a bespoke capsule evening that puts leading design thinkers, doers and stakeholders in one space," said the organisers.

"Cities around the world have very similar concerns, from sustainability to gentrification. It's time we tapped into the knowledge of the collective to help find solutions."

In a break from the usual format of talks programmes, the speakers – including architect Winy Maas, designers Studio Swine, technology entrepreneur Marko Ahtisaari and landscape architect Cees van der Veeken – will sit among the audience.

Unlike the normal format of a talks programme, the speakers – including landscape architect Cees van der Veeken – will sit among the audience.

After the discussions finish, each table will have the opportunity to casually discuss the topics at longer length, while enjoying food and wine.

"No podiums. No stages. Just ideas are shared and discussed in real-time," said the organisers. "As design, creativity and innovation become part of the source code to facing modern challenges, this bespoke concept brings a new twist to an old format."

Participants have been selected from different areas of the creative industries. Winy Maas is a Dutch architect who formed MVRDV with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries in 1993, while  Cees van der Veeken is the partner and co-founder of LOLA landscape architects.

Participants have been selected from different areas of the creative industries, and include IKEA's head of design Marcus Engman

Studio Swine, made up of Japanese designer Azusa Murakami and British designer Alexander Groves, are the duo behind COS' most recent Milan design week installation, technology entrepreneur Marko Ahtisaari has worked at companies including Nokia as well as lecturing at MIT, and Chris Sheldrick is a musician who co-founded mapping and location-finding startup What3Words.

IKEA's head of design Marcus Engman will also join the panel, applying his own experiences at the Swedish furniture giant to the questions raised by the audience.

Chris Sheldrick, a musician who co-founded mapping and location-finding startup What3Words, will also join the panel

Tickets for the event are €175, while students pay a discounted rate of €45.

The rest of Helsinki Design Week, the largest design event in the Nordic countries, takes place from 7 to 17 September. Dezeen is media partner for the 10-day event, which will see a range of activities, workshops and fairs take place across the city's museums, galleries, shops and restaurants.

Visit the DesignCommons website for more information.