Wide, wide open

“Open Helsinki” is the slogan, 2012 is the year.

Which felicitous pair of words leaves everything pretty open in the (so far) delectably wonderful city of Helsinki.

Will design in the officially open city prove to be anything other than a hyped-up word that everyone will soon tire of hearing? Or will designers – everyone who designs stuff but also other things like events or policies – turn out to have moral backbone, good-enough knowledge as well as creative talent? Will they offer up innovations [sic – that word is still allowed] that make change for the better? Will we be inspired by the design gallery, as promised here? Or by challenging what Tony Fry calls unsustainability?

Or, as some of our friends fear, will design hype just give opportunities for the same old f**ts to get paid for what they’ve been doing for decades anyway?

(We like nicely crafted Fiskars scissors and knives, and we occasionally wear Marimekko, but still …)

But more important than design, anniversaries or other parochial Helsinki concerns in 2012, is that there will undoubtedly be many interesting, perhaps important, things to reflect back on in early 2013 that are far, far, far bigger than our little Helsinki.

I mean, after all that 2011 set up for it, 2012 will HAVE to be interesting.

Eurozone (as anticipated at the BBC), the various uprisings against business-as-usual around the world, not least the occupiers, those 21st-century angry young folks who aren’t afraid to call spades spades, the Finnish presidential post with a populist right winger given more media space than anyone could have guessed a couple of years ago, but also a popular greenie given deserved (we feel) exposure as well. And let’s see what the Guggenheim-story brings once more actual information is available, as opposed to speculation, very big dreams and passion! Not to mention how “tall” buildings will be defined in tomorrow’s Helsinki, winter or summer (a topic I mused on myself once).

So it would be a shame if JHJ packed up completely. However, I must let you both know that things are hectic and JHJ is not a high priority. But do keep checking back from time to time in case  there’s something here. And I always love a comment.



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