Thoughts on January's Theme:

I am an immigrant;
some of my roots are not grounded.

They are undeniably visible as I walk through this city. The culture I was raised in, the adjectives that were given to me at birth - which could easily be ignored while I lived on my motherland - are an undeniable part of my current identity. I am Turkish. I am Middle Eastern. I pass as white. I am not white.

I like to concentrate on my other roots, though. The roots I willingly tend to; the roots I clean and ground whenever necessary. These are the roots I am proud to have grown from, for these are the roots that were not necessarily given to my family and community, but chosen by one or the other, over and over again.

I am rooted in imagination.
I am rooted in observation.
I am rooted in deduction.
I am rooted in sensitivity.
I am rooted in human rights.
I am rooted in forgiveness.
I am rooted in feminism.
I am rooted in community.
I am rooted in generosity.
I am rooted in creativity.
I am rooted in curiosity.
I am rooted in resilience.
I am rooted in compassion.
I am rooted in literature.
I am rooted in logic.
I am rooted in philosophy.
I am rooted in diversity.
I am rooted in laughter.
I am rooted in dance.
I am rooted in loyalty.
I am rooted in diligence.
I am rooted in commitment.
I am rooted in research.
I am rooted in sincerity.
I am rooted in silence.  
I am rooted in contemplation.
I am rooted in accountability.
I am rooted in passion.
I am rooted in idleness.

I cherish each and every one these roots. As long as I keep them watered and fed, I shall never get tangled up in the roots I never chose. 

I am rooted in stories, songs, poems, and manifestos.

by Elif Eren 

Muse with Julia Lohmann

Department of Seaweed

We are happy to announce Julia Lohmann as our September speaker for MUSE. Friday morning she will talk to us about seaweed and how it has been her muse, material and method since 2007.

Lohmann is running “an open seaweed laboratory” at Designmuseo until the end of October. Department of Seaweed “… connects designers and makers, researchers and scientists interested in algae as a sustainable resource for making." 

Julia Lohmann is a Professor of Practice in Contemporary Design. She investigates and critiques the ethical and material value systems underpinning our relationship with flora and fauna. Julia’s research interests include critical practice and transition-design, bio materials, collaborative making, museums and residencies, embodied cognition and practice as research. As designer in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013, she established the Department of Seaweed, an interdisciplinary community of practice exploring the marine plant’s potential as a design material. She holds a PhD in Innovation Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art, London.

(Photo by Pete Krejci)

Muse with Julia Lohmann
Friday, 27th of September at 8:30
Design Museum

Justice with Sonja Lahtinen

Reframing Obligation as an Opportunity

”Reframing is the conscious effort to push the pause button, contemplate the crisis from different points of view, and then come up with a new way to handle it.”

Companies say they want to do sustainable business, but they tend to do it in an unsustainable way. Grand sustainability challenges require novel ideas and unconventional approaches from companies, but also from citizens, researchers, non-profits, and policymakers – everyone keen to tackle them. This talk is about how to stimulate critical and creative problem solving in the quest for environmental innovations, social justice and economic prosperity.

Sonja is a doctoral researcher, lecturer and speaker with a focus on the role of companies within society. She has experience in advancing sustainability on multiple levels: as a researcher, teacher, business advisor, community organiser and as a consumer-citizen. She is currently finishing her PhD on the ways companies can act as a driving force for sustainability transitions in society. In her work, she combines academic rigour with creative thinking to reframe the relationship between business and sustainability.

This talk aims to inspire all that seek to reframe their own role of being in relation with the world that is facing the looming threat of sustainability crisis – and to impress ideas on how to become a part of the creative solution.


Justice with Sonja Lahtinen
Friday, 30th of August at 8:30
Design Museum

Preserve with Saida Mäki-Penttilä

“Empathy is key in creating partnerships.”

This month we are lucky to have Saida Mäki-Penttilä as our speaker. She is a coordinator, creative strategiser, community organiser and global connector. She holds a master’s degree in Environment and Development from King’s College London. Saida has lived and worked in Africa, Europe and the US. She has an extensive work experience ranging from bilateral policy level programs to youth led initiatives.

One of the projects dear to her heart is Good Hair Day (GHD). Saida is the coordinator for the GHD-collective, which encourages the creation of safer spaces for discussion on afro hair on a personal, societal and political level. While GHD started out as a one-day urban event discussing the politics of the afro and celebrating afro hair in 2016, it now facilitates workshops and collaborates with other Afro Finnish organisations. Each annual event is a step ahead in expanding Finnish beauty norms and increasing representation.

Saida believes empathy is key in creating partnerships and understanding people from varied backgrounds and cultures. She currently works for the Green Parliamentary group in Finland and is involved in several projects on representation, inclusion, identity and anti-racism.

Links for GHD:

Preserve with Saida Mäki-Penttilä
Friday, 17th of May at 8:30
Design Museum

Symmetry with Laura Bruun

"Craftsmanship is my pride and joy."

Laura Bruun is a Gemmologist (D.G. Fin) and a student of Jewelry Design. She describes her work and her relationship with symmetry as:

“From very early on I have been fascinated by jewellery and ornamental objects; and the joy of creating beautiful objects that accompany our daily lives. My Inspiration comes from art, forms, lights and shadows. The city’s buzz and nature’s silence are both phenomena that excite my imagination. And once my mind has worked over an idea long enough, I can transform that idea into a beautiful object.

My jewellery bears a harmony between enormity and vulnerability. A mutation from the dirty and jagged to the pure and beautiful. Craftsmanship is my pride and joy.

Symmetry is about harmony, balance and perfection. Harmony can be found in a beautiful artwork, but one can also find it within the turmoils of life. Although symmetry and harmony can be seen as synonyms, I think of them as two different concepts that compliment each other. There can be harmony sans symmetry and symmetry can cause disarray. An awareness of the small nuances of imbalance can lead into substantial and positive changes in one’s life.”

You may find more information and her beautiful works on

Symmetry with Laura Bruun
Friday, 22nd of February at 8:30
Design Museum

Surreal with Mika Kurvinen

What we call absurd and surreal today, might become the norm tomorrow.

Mika Kurvinen (aka Misha, aka Haamu) is a half Finnish, half Ukrainian producer/rapper from Finland. His musical background is strongly in melodic soul-based hip-hop, but lately he has been leaning towards modern R&B and Neo Soul.

He launched his music career as a rapper. He already has four solo rap albums from different Finnish labels and has been featured on many more. He has been touring through Finland since 2009 with his rap project.

Mika, also studied Music Production in TAMK, Hip Hop at McNally Smith College of Music (Saint Paul, US) and has a BA in Humanistics (Russian language). Since then he has been focusing on production, song writing, Russian translations and coaching for a variety of youth projects.

His music has been played over two million times on Spotify and his sounds have been used on commercials and on radio stations worldwide.

Mika found it an absurd and surreal experience to make Hip-Hop in the late 90´s, as it was only done by small groups of genre fans, and over the years, he watched it transform into one of the most popular musical genres of the day.

DJ. SPOTIFY: / email: INSTAGRAM: @mishabeats / @haamustagram FACEBOOK: / Bookings:

Surreal with Mika Kurvinen
Friday 25th of January 8:30 AM
Design Museum

Restart with Kaarle Hurtig

Kaarle has been known as an entrepreneur, a journalist, and an all-round creative. The most concrete aspect of his work history is the fact that it doesn’t have just one.

Being inspired by ‘just being’, candles, and occurrences, it seems Kaarle spends a good portion of his time thinking a lot and living freely. Lately he’s been focusing on keeping his calendar as empty as possible, to maximize the random-factor.


Restart with Kaarle Hurtig
Friday 30th of November 8:30 AM
Design Museum

Game with Laura Euro

Come play with us – Designer Laura Euro and Game at CreativeMornings/Helsinki!

Laura Euro is an enthusiastic school designer and learning culture developer. She has been working especially with public developing ways for cross-sectoral collaboration and strategic planning. Laura is interested in the design process as a process of learning.

Game with Laura Euro
Friday 27th of April 8.30 AM
Design Museum

Courage with Panu Mäenpää

Panu Mäenpää is a speech and presentation skills professional. He has done an extensive career in the nonprofit organisation realm, focusing on art education, working as a planner and a CEO. In the recent past Panu has worked in various communication agencies, mainly on strategies, campaigns and communication analysis and planning.

Panu Mäenpää on Courage
Friday 23rd of March
8:30 AM
Design Museum

Be Curious with Otso Lähdeoja

Our February speaker Otso Lähdeoja is a Finnish composer, guitarist and researcher in the digital arts. He has led a myriad of crossover artistic projects such as musical ensembles, solo and group albums, multimedia projects, music-poetry, installation art and music for dance performances. Currently he is an Academy of Finland Researcher at University of the Arts, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.


Otso Lähdeoja on Curiosity
Friday 23rd of February
8:30 AM
Design Museum