20+12 Design Stories from Helsinki

This is a book of photographs by Katja Hagelstam (of LoKaL) with interviews by Eva Lamppu and graphic design by Piëtke Visser. The book shows clearly how good design and well-made products enhance our lives. I hope they won’t mind if I quote the first paragraphs of their introduction in full because I am afraid that if I tried to paraphrase their aims I would not express it as clearly:

“We set out to find examples of design that bring joy to our everyday lives, and we wanted to showcase interesting people and their surroundings in our hometown, Helsinki. We conducted 20 interviews with designers and artists who influence the cultural life of the city. In their own environments, be it at work or at home, we listened to their stories of what their work means to them and what inspiration they draw from Helsinki itself. In addition we asked 12 people from a variety of creative fields to consider what makes Helsinki unique and where the city should be heading next.”

“These voices reveal that our city is developing day by day and that it is becoming increasingly open and accessible to its citizens through initiatives all of their own. Turning wasteland into vegetable gardens, organising neighbourhood block parties - all this breathes new life into Helsinki’s urban landscape.”

 

 

This is a book where images and text work together on the page with the lens of the camera zooming in on a detail, isolating things you might have missed, or zooming out to make a broader statement with humility and humour.