Back to the future

The WDC year is drawing to a close. Next time it will raise it’s head again in 2014 with the destination being the sunny Cape Town.

As with all things, it’s a good time to start looking back and think about what was achieved and what can still be done. Just because our year as the banner holder for the capital is over, doesn’t mean we should suddenly stop innovating. Does it?

Take for example the Pavilion. An outdoor space in one of the more central locations of Helsinki, it attracted thousands of guests, both local and tourist, to join in on public events, evening gatherings, free film screenings, coffee and discussion. Anyone who has lived in Finland long enough knows, that Finns don’t talk and if they do, it’s because they’re asking you to be more quiet.

But the Pavilion seemed to change that. Within the open confines of the beautifully designed space, people let loose. Over the course of the warm summer months, the Pavilion catered to people food, drink and dance. Helsinki, often known for more closed spaces and indoor events, suddenly had a fully open air common room for everyone.

With the year closing down and the Cape Town year still ahead, one of the fundamental campaign slogans has grown to be: Live Design, Transform Life.

Easier said than done, but if the Pavilion – now taken down and held in safety for the cold and more harsher months of the year – can achieve this, it would be nothing short of a sin to not bring it back early next year.

With the designers and curators of the space optimistic for the future, the city of Helsinki, along with Aalto, could make a permanent mark on the face of this city by returning to the people a first step in design that matters.

Public space that brings out the best in everyone.