The world’s northernmost design event brings together designers and businesses from diverse backgrounds and countries.
Arctic Design Week, the world’s northernmost design event, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
The event held annually in Rovaniemi brings together designers and businesses from diverse backgrounds and countries and highlights the central role of design in the daily life of the North.
The 10th edition of the week slated for February 19 to 25 is expected to have a wide range of activities including a number of workshops. “We are looking forward to the unique and authentic perspectives that everyone will bring to the discussions”, said Arctic Design Week Producer Julius Oförsagd.
A new concept, Arctic Design Talks, will be introduced in the beginning of the week during discussions on design and entrepreneurship. The discussions will be structured by using random cards to bring surprise to the speakers and the participants, as no information will be revealed beforehand on the programme.
One of the highlights of the week will be a "mishmash conference", which proved a success last year. Quite different from a typical conference where the participants come to attend passively, "mishmash" requires them to be actively involved in the creative process.
There will be a series of mishmash events, namely a cocktail evening titled Mishmash Matchmaking, a mishmash seminar, an interactive activity called Mishmash Action, a mishmash sparring for businesses to improve their products, and an evening discussion designed by the students named Mishmash Underground. Besides, the participants will also have the opportunity to try different Arctic equipment designed for survival in the North.
“What we offer is a unique Arctic experience highlighting the Arctic design through our daily lives”, said Oförsagd.
While the main target groups are local entrepreneurs and global designers, Oförsagd said they are willing to educate and display the true meaning of Arctic design to the “non-designers”. He said, when the word "arctic" is added to "design", there is a clear focus on the vital role of design in the daily life of the Northern people.
The event will also address the issue of sustainable development in Arctic design in a significant way. In the long term, Arctic Design week is expected to become a hub where students and entrepreneurs meet and build up networks. From there, more career opportunities may arise, explained the organisers.
According to them, despite the beautiful landscapes and the unique nature, the northern areas, including Rovaniemi, pose various intriguing challenges for the global designers specialising in urban housing and construction, infrastructure, tourism, apparels, textiles, and wellbeing. Hence, there is a need for raising awareness of local and international designers on training and enhancing design research and expertise to meet the demands of Arctic climate conditions and to fulfil the aesthetic requirements of design in general.
The city of Rovaniemi, the Arctic Centre, and the local enterprises and universities are the experts on the field and are committed to develop the Arctic design to the next level. Arctic Design Week is the right platform to facilitate that process.
Above all, as it is an event inspired by the young spirit, it is worth mentioning the feedback received from students, said Oförsagd, quoting two examples – “It was excellent, unique and very valuable” and “The mix of activities at Mishmash was fun!”
City of Rovaniemi- Daily Finland Report