While supporting the German ice hockey national team at the Ice Hockey World Championships 2022 in Helsinki, my wife and I had some time to explore the Finnish capital. One of the places we visited has been the Helsinki Design Museum. The museum will be merged with the nearby Architecture Museum in the future (likely during 2023). This definitely leads to some urge in having a look inside this place on Flyctory.com.
Helsinki Design Museum – Location & Admission
The museum is located in the street Korkeavuorenkatu, which is located in the city center South of the main train station. The easiest way to get to the museum is taking the tram line 10 to Johanneksenkirkko. The tram line is making a loop South of the museum. You may also walk from the main shopping district or from Helsinki harbor. There are also a few parking lots around, but I would generally not really commute in the Finnish capital by car – the public transport is simply too convenient.
In summer (June to August), he museum is opening Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 20:00 hrs. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum is already closing at 18:00 hrs. In the other months, the general opening time is 11:00 to 18:00 hrs. There is a prolonged 20:00 hrs opening on Tuesdays and a general closure on Mondays. The museum is accepting the Finnish Museum Card. Adult admission is 12 Euro.
Helsinki Design Museum – The Visit
The museum is having three levels of exhibition space. The key floor is named the Story of Finnish Design. You get introduced into people, but also famous products. Did you for example knew that Princess Leia’s bracelet is in fact a Finnish product? But, of course, you also see very straight and practical items or designs you automatically link to the country, like Moomin items. You might also not know that the idea of the Angry Birds is in fact coming from the Nordic country.
One temporary exhibition on the top floor was Design For Every Body, which is dealing with a wide range of items. you find a wheel chair as well as jewelry, clothing as well as tableware. I liked the general presentation of the museum. Unfortunately it reminded me of the German Architecture Museum in a negative way: the museum feels to focus too much on people, which are deeply involved into the topic rather than explaining the ideas to less experienced visitors. At least, the Helsinki place managed to do so at some places.
The Finnish Graphic Designers of the Year
In the basement, you went through A Path Of One’s Own. This exhibition has been closed already and was honoring Finland’s Graphic Designer of the Year 2022, Kaisa & Christoffer Leka: Their cartoons are quite famous. Nonetheless, my wife and I felt too lost in this part of the museum. It felt nice and entertaining, but we just did not find a good way to get into the message of the exhibition.
Helsinki Design Museum – Service
The staff was overall very friendly. You had to lock your bags during the visit. The museum is also having a very popular cafe, which is also offering a lunch menu. Unfortunately, this soup-and-salad combo was almost sold out during our visit, but the cake was awesome. Parts of the cafe space is also more or less the souvenir store of the museum.
Helsinki Design Museum – My View
The majority of the permanent part of the Helsinki Design Museum was quite nice, even though I would have loved to have more and easier-to-access information in there. The two temporary exhibition floors did neither work for my wife nor for myself. Design lovers will have a great time in this place, but it is not the ideal place to get inspired and to learn as a visitor with a basic level of knowledge. Some more permanent exhibition space in favor of temporary displays might help as well.
Here are my Flyctory.com postings related to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area: