Habitare programme to consider sustainability, responsibility and new ways of living


The programme of Finland’s leading interior decoration and design event has been announced. In the midst of exceptional times, the Habitare programme deals with doing everyday things differently and envisaging our lives in the future. Habitare will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki from 15 to 19 September 2021.

Habitare’s theme this autumn, Reimagine, challenges us to think about what our lives might be like in the future. This exceptional period of time has challenged us to think about how we will live, work, and spend our free time in the future. Can we return to how things were?

“We are living in a time of transitions, and wherever you look, it seems that it is the end of normality. It’s time to use the power of imagination and together envisage how we want to live in the future, and what spaces are required for this”, concludes Kati Ahvonen, senior consultant and people lead at Demos Helsinki, the company behind the Habitare theme.

The same themes will be addressed by the International Friend of Habitare, researcher, curator, and editor, Joseph Grima, in his keynote speech entitled The World We Want (Wednesday 15 September at 3 pm). In his capacity as the International Friend of Habitare, Grima will present his favourite exhibits on Wednesday at 1 pm.

Keynote speakers adding more international colour to Habitare include the design influencer Marcel Wanders and the architect Thomas Sandell. Wanders, who is the owner and creative director of BASTA, will, in his keynote speech, share his views on what furniture companies will look like in five years. He will also tell the story behind him becoming the owner of a Finnish design company.

In his keynote speech, the architect Thomas Sandell will talk about his extensive design portfolio and projects (Friday 17 September at 3 pm). The journalist and trend analyst Susanna Björklund will, in her traditional Signals trend lectures, set her sights on the future and shed light on global megatrends. The lectures will be held on Wednesday 15 September at 2 pm and on Saturday 18 September at 3 pm.

Presenting long-time Finnish designers and young talents

The prizes for the Habitare Design Competition 2020 will be awarded on Wednesday 15 September at 9:40 am. The head judge of the competition is the architect, designer Anna von Schewen, and the grand prize is donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation.

The theme of the Habitare exhibition design in 2021 is Bridge Works, and this year, in the spirit of sustainable development, it will be built from wood. Ilkka Suppanen, the interior designer behind the Habitare exhibition design, and the recipient of the 2020 Kaj Franck Design Prize, will discuss the inspiration for his design (Wed 15 September at 9:30 am). Suppanen will talk about his long career in design in an interview with Sami Sykkö on Thursday 16 September at 1:30 pm.

You can hear the latest from current, up-and-coming talent on Friday17 September at 11:30 am, when the young designers featured in Talentshop and Protoshop will take the stage. The textile designer Johanna Gullichsen, who received the 2021 Kaj Franck Design Prize, will be interviewed on Thursday 16 September at 3:30 pm.

Interest insustainabilityand recyclability

The sustainability and responsibility of design, manufacture, and materials interest people around the world. As waste mountains are growing and raw materials are dwindling, it is important to be wise about the design and manufacture of products and the provision of service. A sustainable produc stands the test of time in terms of both its materials and its design. On Thursday, 16 September at 1 pm, Sami Sykkö will interview Ahti Taskinen, who has enjoyed a 50-year career as an interior architect and designer, and whose Easy sofa beds were exhibited at the very first Habitare in 1970. Another interviewee will be the CEO of Fasetti, Janne Ylönen, whose company has restarted the production of Hjort af Ornäs furniture in Lahti.

How is it possible to recycle properly, reduce waste, and eliminate disposable plastic? The CEO of Niimaar, Enni Karikoski, will, on Friday 17 September at 1:30 pm, talk about the fascinating story behind her company, circular design, and the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy. The designer and entrepreneur Susanne Hamari of THINK TODAY (Friday 17 September at 11 am) will talk about the journey of a material to an interior design product. Visitors can also experiment with recycling and hands-on creative thinking by participating in Habitare’s Decor workshops, in which interior decoration and construction materials are reused to create interior decoration objects. The workshops will be held from Wednesday to Sunday.

Joy and experiences for families and children

Habi Kids, a special area at Habitare for children and families, provides a setting for an action-packed sea adventure. This year, Habi Kids will be realised with the world’s only Moomin Museum, and it will offer families with children fun activities using the means of art education. At the various activity points, you can make a boat out of bark, draw your own sea creature, write your own story, and catch fish and other creatures in the sea.

The entire Habitare programme online

More information

Communications manager Taira Sjöblom-Tallus,, tel. +358 50 385 5482


Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 15 to 19 September 2021. Habitare offers experiences and ideas on interior decoration, and on the functioning and look of homes and other spaces. Habitare highlights the ideas and works by a new generation of designers, and sparks discussion. The International Friend of Habitare in 2021 is Joseph Grima. | @HabitareFair | | #habitare2021


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Messukeskus on ihmisläheinen media ja turvallisuudestaan palkittu tapahtumatalo, joka luo kasvua aitojen kohtaamisten kautta. Suomen suurin tapahtumajärjestäjä tuottaa laadukkaita tapahtumia sekä vuokraa tilojaan ja palvelujaan live-, hybridi- ja virtuaalitapahtumien areenaksi. Messukeskuksen tapahtumissa vieraili vuonna 2019 1,1 miljoonaa vierasta. | Messukeskus – sata vuotta tapahtumien keskipisteessä | | #messukeskus | 

Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre, creates growth through encounters. We are the largest event organiser in Finland producing or hosting 50 exhibitions and one thousand meetings and congresses with 1,1 million visitors annually. We provide a perfect venue with 7 adaptable halls, 40 conference spaces, the 4,400-seater Amfi Hall auditorium, 21 restaurants, a fully renewed event hotel, and all event services, including live, virtual and hybrid events. | Messukeskus – A century in the centre of events | | #messukeskus 

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