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The designer Päivi Helander starts work as a visiting creative adviser for Habitare: “I see Habitare as a creative meeting place, open to all, where people can experience design”

The designer Päivi Helander starts work as a visiting creative adviser for Habitare: “I see Habitare as a creative meeting place, open to all, where people can experience design”

Known as a versatile graphic designer, design researcher and lecturer, Päivi Helander is joining the Habitare team as a visiting creative adviser, with the job title of Creative Lead. Helander wants to have a say in making Habitare an open and equal place to experience design. Habitare’s new visual identity has been created as a joint effort between Helander and the graphic designer Tino Nyman.

Long active as a visual designer in the field of design in Finland and Germany, Päivi Helander, as Creative Lead, is going to work with the Habitare team with the aim of ensuring that Habitare is up-to-date and relevant, and promotes dialogue.

“To me, Habitare is not only an inspiring annual exhibition that brings the whole industry together, but also a place for meetings and discussions. I feel that good design, good homes and a functional environment are essential for human well-being”, says Helander.

Helander also considers dialogue important. She sees Habitare as a creative meeting place where people can get excited about design and experience it together.

"The beauty of the fair concept is its equality – the fair is a forum where different styles, preferences and forms can co-exist, complementing each other and living in perfect harmony. Design should not be alienating or inaccessible."

In addition to her role as a visiting Creative Lead at Habitare, Helander continues to work for her own agency.

“We are delighted to have Päivi’s expertise and know-how at our disposal at the heart of Habitare development and to have her work together with the Habitare team. It is important to us that Habitare keeps up with the times and highlights the most interesting phenomena. At the heart of the successful event are productive encounters and close cooperation with the industry”, says the business manager at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre, Tanja Pasila.

Beautiful forms and good design create well-being

Helander thinks design has an important social role. She feels that aesthetics is one of the basic human needs.

“A beautiful form and good design generate well-being, and create security and joy for people. These are the things that are emphasised in this turbulent world situation. Home has become an even more important place for people to recover and to live their own kind of life”, Helander says, adding:

"I am moved by how much people enjoy haptic experiences: when, for example, they feel a fabric, take a book in their hand, stroke a soft pillow, or sniff a freshly printed magazine. The experience of a surface, structure, form, movement or space can be very powerful and important for well-being. The experiences of touching and feeling things are very difficult to replace digitally.”

A new visual identity to bring together organic forms and minimal design

Helander’s hand will first be visible in Habitare’s new visual identity, which she and the graphic designer Tino Nyman have designed as a joint effort.

“The new visual identity of Habitare embodies simplicity, contemporaneity, and modularity reflecting the essence of modern Nordic design. The organic forms and minimal design meet forming a fresh aesthetic for the event. The new visual identity is up-to-date with a yearly changing color palette. This approach ensures the fair remains relevant with the latest design styles, offering a fresh and contemporary experience each year”, says Tino Nyman.

Helander is especially pleased to see that in today’s Finnish design, the need to categorise things into old and new has been renounced. The old is valued, and traditional skills are maintained alongside new technologies. Tradition and trends can coexist and be considered equal and equally valuable.

“The dialogue between the past and the present is a beautiful strand in sustainable development. Not everything that is produced has to be new, but it can originate from an earlier time. Good taste as a restrictive concept has also been opened up towards a more human view, by which people have the right to live their own kind of unique life, for which different things and stories form a beautiful framework.”

More information and interview requests:

Pia Sievinen, communication & brand, Habitare, tel. +358 40 559 9155,


Habitare, Finland’s largest furniture, design and interior decoration event, will be held from 11 to 15 September 2024 at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. | | @habitarefair | #habitare2024

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