British Council’s 2018 Helsinki Design Residency

The Helsinki Design Residency, first established in 2012 offers an opportunity for practitioners to explore and reflect on the evolving life and context of Helsinki as a Nordic capital. The residency focuses on stimulating new research and is open to a broad range of UK-based practitioners at the intersection of art, design and architecture, encouraging speculative and critical thinking.

The British Council, in partnership with the Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP) and Helsinki Design Week (HDW) and Aalto University I


The 2018 Helsinki design residency programme invited practitioners to explore those complexities together with questions that may include, without being limited to:

The concept, place and re-evaluation of ‘critical distance’ in cooperative settings.
The influence of tools and materials on creative/critical perspectives and vice versa.
The extents and the limitations of cooperative practice.
The position of the contemporary object in relation to its historical states of proximity, distance, and instance.


The selected designer in residence, hosted by HIAP in Helsinki, had an opportunity to present work to local colleagues and audiences at HIAP Open Studios and through Helsinki Design Week’s programme of events:

HDW PechaKucha Night.
Design Diplomacy event at the British Embassy in Helsinki.
A dedicated presentation of the resident’s project.


Hosted designers were encouraged to create connections with local designers, curators, researchers and design experts.

Who is it for?

Individuals based in the UK.


Helsinki, Finland

Duration of stay

The residency took place in two parts:

First part: 14 – 27 May 2018.
Second part: 13 August – 18 September 2018.

Financing amounts

Not mentioned.

Source of funding

Not mentioned.

Type of activity


Type of sector

Architecture, Curatorial and cross-disciplinary work, Design, Design writing, Fashion design