Finland to preside over the World Design Weeks network

Published on : Monday, October 31, 2016

Finland assumes a greater role within international design field after being elected as the first country to preside the World Design Weeks network. Consisting of 50 design and urban festivals around the world, the network forms a considerable consortium of design week festivals.

HDW_L3_Kari_KorkmanThe founding documents were signed during the Dutch Design Week. On that occasion, the network also announced its first president: Helsinki Design Week founder and director Kari Korkman.

The objective of the World Design Weeks is to promote collaboration in the design field, to support product development, and to develop the economy of creative fields. It provides networking and support to both the design field and the fields that utilize design. Founding members include nine design week festivals on three continents: Soul, Tokio, Beijing, Toronto, San Francisco, Mexico, Barcelona, Eindhoven and Helsinki.

Korkman says, “World Design Weeks have been met with enthusiasm, and the network has the unique opportunity to connect the representatives of various creative fields and help create a global market for all of them.”

Rotating presidency lasts for three years, and as the first country to preside (from 2017 to 2019), Helsinki has the opportunity to define the nature of operation. Korkman has purposefully worked to establish World Design Weeks since the idea emerged for the first time among colleagues in Milan in 2008. The project has proceeded through close cooperation of the paricipating countries.

Korkman adds, “World Design Weeks are taking their first steps. The possibility of Helsinki and Finland to influence the future of the network, to internationalize and extend the design-intensive field, decisively depends on how firmly we are able to stand behind the project.”

Helsinki is set to host the first major event for the network in September 2017. The World Design Weeks Helsinki Summit is a collection of seminars and events organized as part of the Helsinki Design Week 2017 festival programme.


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