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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

Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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