Thursday, 3 May 2012


Photo Helen Korpak

The idea for HEL/LO – Let's Talk can be traced back to a conversation in the small hours of the morning in a bar and pool hall in central Helsinki. The conversation was bubbling away and, like so many conversations that occur at that ungodly hour, the topics covered meandered from architecture, to design, to film, to family, to the price of houses, to the price of beer, to who will buy the next drink, back to architecture, to art, to whether we should all go home…

What had brought together the people at the table that night was the prelude to a design event scheduled to take place in London a few weeks later as part of the design festival. In the days and weeks following that night, emails, texts, books, films and pictures were pinged back and forth between those present – proving points, illustrating ideas and sharing inspiration. Friendships and professional relationships were formed and continue to this day. 

At its heart, HEL/LO – Let's Talk is a continuation of that night. 

Since starting this project with the Finnish Institute, the scope of the project has grown through conversations and the willingness of people to engage with this simple idea. Our collaboration between Studio EMMI and Chrissie Macdonald of Peepshow Collective emerged after an informal meeting. In the same vein, it’s hoped that the conversations that start at each HEL/LO – Let's Talk event, prompted in some way by the panel discussions that we have organised, will help develop the connections between the talented, diverse and opinionated design professionals and students in each city.

We look forward to meeting you on the 24th at the Gopher Hole.

Owen Pritchard
Senior Writer, Blueprint Magazine