Monday, July 12, 2010

Meeting the mayor

During our June trip, Travis met with the mayor, Jussi Pajonen, and some editors from magazines, to explain the project and seek his support. The mayor was most gracious and even expressed his conversion to modern buildings/design while working at the city council building. I think time just wore him down into loving clean, sleek lines. Travis gave a fantastic presentation on Spirit of Place, the Kalevalakehto project and some of his other past projects and great conversation ensued. We are pleased to say we have a solid supporter on our side! Helsinki becomes more and more alive as we continue on this journey. The people are quite open to change and fresh ideas and it's very exciting to see them, bureaucracy, work to support the arts. What a fresh concept, non?
Now, I felt silly taking pictures with the mayor in his office so this is the best that you'll get from the city council building. I'd like to think that they announced our arrival for the meeting by putting up the Helsinki World Design Capital flags in front (see top photo). My argument may be justified because they were gone the next day, but I don't think we can claim it. On a side note, what capital city hoists flags in support of design?! I love Finland.
This carpet above is magnificent. Lush and colorful. Kathleen and I were drooling. I don't know what goes on in this room, but I would just sit in awe if I could return. After our meeting with the mayor we met with the exhibition curator for the building where the student's work will be displayed during Design Week next month (next month!). Travis, Kathleen, and Wilhelmina discussed spatial requirements and came up with a stellar plan. For those of you able to come in August, look for the student exhibition work at the city council building on the main floor in the right corner. So excited to see everyone's work there!
While discussion of spatial arrangement took the spotlight, I stole a moment looking at the photography exhibition by Clare Aho like this one above. Balloons never cease to bring a smile to my face.

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