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Habitare Showcases Best Regional Talent

Published: September 18, 2013 (Issue # 1778)



  • International contemporary art shares the spotlight with design at Habitare. 
    Photo: Markku Ojala / For SPT

  • Habitare will exhibit a mini-retrospective of the work of Sebastian Jansson with an exhibition entitled Singular Pluralist.
    Photo: Habitare / for SPT

  • The Weather Diary collection, released this autumn by Marimekko, takes the ever-changing weather of the far north as its inspiration and encourages people to observe the rhythm of nature.
    Photo: Marimekko.com

  • Sauna wear made of linen is perfect for traipsing between the lake and the banya.
    Photo: Marimekko.com

  • As part of Habitare, the Salonki decorative arts and antique show will hold master classes on how to care for antiques as well as on numerous other topics of vital interest to collectors.
    Photo: Verna Kovanen / For SPT

  • Lighting, both industrial and decorative, gets its own section at the Habitare design fair.  
    Photo: Verna Kovanen / for SPT

Mention Nordic design and the first thing that comes to mind for most people is IKEA. Dig a little deeper and names like Artek, Iittala, Arabia, Marimekko and others surface. Finding them in St. Petersburg, however, can be a bit of a challenge.

Luckily, a quick trip to Helsinki during Design Week, which runs through Sunday, is all it takes to see the latest creations by both established local brands and emerging designers from Finland and further afield.

During the 10-day festival, the city overflows with events that span exhibitions, performances, pop-up shops, behind-the-scenes tours and more. The majority of the activity is centered on the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre, which is dominated by Habitare Finlands largest furniture, interior decoration and design expo.

Held every fall, the five-day exhibition dates back to 1970. Focusing on interior design for homes, offices and public spaces, the expo is a look at the future of design. Innovative textiles, interior decoration materials and supplies; fittings for kitchens, bathrooms and saunas; fireplaces and furnaces; home theatre and AV equipment all jostle for space with decorative objects.

Discrete areas within the fair focus on designs for public spaces and lighting solutions, as well as housing ArtHelsinki, a high-profile, contemporary art fair, and Salonki, a curated antique exhibition.

In addition to providing examples of the best designs the world has to offer, achievements in the field are recognized by the Habitare Design Awards. With a new theme and jury chosen each year, the 2013 competition floated the idea of a dream space to inspire designers to develop and implement solutions appealing to all of the senses by creating an interior intended as a momentary reprieve from reality.

Past competition themes have ranged from spatial solutions to smaller-scale topics including, private space, outhouse, recycled seat and sauna. Design heavyweights such as Boris Berlin, Mikko Heikkinen, Alfredo Häberli, Sami Rintala and Jasper Morrisonhave all headed the jury at various times over the last decade.

EcoDesign, an invitational exhibition that focuses on eco-friendly projects, is also centered on annually changing themes, with top designers and new talents from Finland and abroad invited to exhibit their wares.

This year, the focus is on wood and the invited designers have been given free reign to create wooden articles for use as interior decoration. The work of each designer is evaluated on the basis of how ecologically sound the manufacturing process is, choices of materials, packaging and logistics, usability, ease of care and recyclability. All of the articles are manufactured from a minimum of 80 percent wood, with the remaining 20 percent sourced from ecologically responsible materials.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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