23 Apr 2009, Posted by Travis Price in Guests from Washington D.C., 0 Comments

Helsinki Top-5 by Travis Price

1. Painting titled ” Broken Pine” by Akseli Gallen-Kallela – haunts me in a deep spiritual guide into the darkness and the piercing light as a shawl cloaking the Kalevala….its awesome.

2. Sauna, sunset, ice water dip….. conversations unfettered.

3. Arabia – the whole area from tea cup to mega plan to stunning modern architecture!

4. The words, Hei, Hei and Moi, Moi in concert with the Dinner Party with Kari’s artistic friends …

5. Endless Window Displays of individually crafted compositions – The seamless blend of design, commerce, government and Finnish Character …

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About the writer

A lecturer on the recent National Geographic Seven Continents Tour, Travis Price found himself for the first time on the streets of Kochi, India. Inside a Hindu shrine he encountered glass-encased statues of Catholic priests under giant Christian billboards draped in garlands, and a Buddha with a third eye sporting the nose of Alexander the Great. "Underneath all these cultural overlaps," recalls Price, "were the deeper origins of earliest India, wrapping the whole in silk and perfume and making it all at home." For three decades as an architect, author, teacher, and philosopher Price has delighted in discovering these cultural intersections and metaphors that define our world. In his groundbreaking books The Archaeology of Tomorrow and the forthcoming Sojourns into the Ethnosphere, Price defines a vision for where architecture should be headed beyond green. In an award-winning architecture informed by ecology and mythology and in the pioneering Spirit of Place Program at the Catholic University of America that introduces new architects to the tenets of his vision, he restores spirit of place to modern design. "Finland is homeland to two of my favorite architects-Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen. The prospect of being around their work and underlying influences excites me. I love absorbing cultural vibes-people, nature, the eccentricities, and the earlier, deeper history-and then imagining new buildings and sharing the discovered hidden threads of that heritage with others."


Helsinki is becoming a "Design-Driven city". Future strategies will include design as one of the spearheads for development. "Multidisciplinarity" describes the definition of "design" in the post-industrial phase of the modern world. Architecture, design education, fashion design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning/design, design management, design research, service design, etc. will all be in the loop when Helsinki applies for the title of World Design Capital 2012.

The next 10-15 years will be an era of city planning, architecture and building constructions. The new harbour outside the city centre in Vuosaari has released large areas by the water-front for new purposes. Helsinki will face opportunities and challenges similar to those of, e.g. the city of Hamburg a decade ago.

All in all, this is a great moment for Mr Travis Price to enter the world of Helsinki. He will be hosted by Mr Kari Korkman, the founder and director of Helsinki Design Week, the annual festival for creative industries. During his visit Mr Price will become acquainted with the history of Finland and its renowned architecture and design. In addition, he will have the opportunity to meet a number of contemporaries in urban design, academics, arts, crafts, fashion, industry and - you never know - mystics.