Design as part of our identity

Laura Sarvilinna is an all-rounder in design who has been championing the foregrounding of the sector in Helsinki. She is Programme Director at the Messukeskus Trade Fair Centre in Helsinki and runs the Habitare fair. Laura is a keen consumer of culture who lives in the Finnish capital with her family.

“I have fond memories of my childhood in Helsinki: the cinema on Kapteeninkatu, the trams and the expansive green spaces.”

Laura wants her own child to build memories of Helsinki’s outdoor environment and parks. She would like to see the parks made into spaces for both adults and children.

“Let’s bring interactive and participatory art out into the open air,” she suggests.

Laura feels that greater attention is continuously being paid to the attractiveness of the city’s infrastructure.

“On its own scale, Helsinki is striving to become a fascinating, welcoming and friendly city.”


Design as a magnet for tourists

Laura Sarvilinna has showcased Helsinki’s design world internationally at venues such as World Design Capital events. She believes that Helsinki has a good reputation for design, which is a magnet for tourists.

“Helsinki is viewed as sexy by the design media. The editor-in-chief of Monocle just loves the city.”

Laura’s work is strongly related to how both city residents and visitors view design in Helsinki.

“Design is important to the city’s functionality and aesthetics. Many people view it as an important part of Helsinki’s identity. ”


Text and picture: Siiri Mäkelä


Simo Vehmas chose Laura Sarvilinna as a maker of the Helsinki of the future.