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Journal by Gabriel Martinez

A few months ago I was lucky enough to visit Helsinki for their “Design Week”. The experience was short but intense. In Finland the word design is “superficial”. You can come across it at street level: city streets, subtly dressed, detailed shop fronts. Due to the quality of their displays, some shops looked more like contemporary design museums.

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And they are ecological!!!

On my first and I’m sure not my last visit to Helsinki, I have been able to test things on the land that I already knew, or at least sensed; for example the fact that the tradition of design and Finnish architecture goes far beyond Alvar Aalto and that for some time, they have been escaping from under its shadow, just as naughty grandchildren sneak away from the care of their grandparent, searching for that strange midnight sun, a series of creators, who viewing themselves within tradition, have achieved contemporaneity without traumatic effect.

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Europe begins in the North

On the Atlantic coast of Europe there are at least two “Finisterre”, one in Spanish Galicia and the other in French Brittany. Two ends of the earth where sailors fell in love with the horizon and were given value to go and conquer it. But today there is another finis terrae which also defines our European character, one where land and sea are not abruptly separated, on the contrary, they are united seamlessly below a layer of ice which continues all the way to the remote Pole.

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Helsinki, forever

What luck! I like nothing better than getting to know a great city for the first time. If, in addition, it is an intense and stimulating city it becomes an unforgettable experience which will last forever.

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Guests from Madrid

Four guests from Madrid visited Helsinki in September 2009. Read their journals.

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Theme writers

Elena Carantoña Elena Carantoña Coordinator, Helsinki Madrid FinDesign Last entry: Dec 1. 2009 12:00
Pedro Feduchi Pedro Feduchi Doctor of architecture, Madrid School of Architecture (Etsam) Last entry: Dec 1. 2009 12:00