Alvar Aalto -design talk – Helsinki

12.9.23 klo 15:00 – 16:00

Helsinki Bookhouse



The surrounding world is full of threats; climate change one of the most acute problems. We are drowning in the overproduction of goods, while the quality and durability of products, services and construction have suffered. Breathing air and waterways are polluted, our living and living environments do not provide sufficient protection or comfort in the midst of changes. What is your advice when we solve extreme phenomena and big problems, e.g. in an urban environment?

The starting points of Alvar Aalto’s (1898-1976) architecture were people- and nature-oriented, sustainable development planning, which took into account e.g. efficient utilization of materials. Humane, ecological design thinking – already a hundred years ago – 2023 125 years have passed since the birth of Alvar Aalto. What has been learned from Aalto’s design principles, how does Aalto’s legacy carry on – and could it still act as a trendsetter today?

Ville Blåfield is a journalist, communications consultant, and Program Director of the Helsinki Book Fair.

Hanna Harris has been the chief design officer of the City of Helsinki since 2020. In her role as the chief design officer, Harris promotes the utilisation of design and architecture in the development of the city’s functions and urban space as well as strengthens Helsinki’s reputation as an internationally prestigious design city. Previously, Harris has worked as director at Archinfo Finland, and as programme director for Helsinki Design Week and the Finnish Institute in London. Harris is a Licentiate of Social Sciences and Urban Researcher. 

Mirkku Kullberg, CEO of Paimio Sanatorium and Founder of Glasshouse Helsinki, is a cross-disciplinary thinkeron business and cultural phenomena. She is a design executive with a strong track record in strategy processes, branding, consumer foresight, and restructuring management. Her past experience includes roles as the CEO of the iconic Finnish furniture company Artek, Creative Director for Hotel St. George, Head of the Home Department at Swiss company Vitra, and VP of Poltrona Frau for the Americas. Prior to this, she revamped Finnish design standouts in fashion, such as Nanso and Grünstein. She holds the position of Chair for the Alvar Aalto Foundation and has served as a board member for Finnish and international companies across different sectors.

Mirkku Kullberg is a thought leader in Scandinavian design, an art lover, and a strong believer in responsible growth. She believes that the time has come for artists, designers, architects, scientists, and businesspeople to sit around the same table and start taking meaningful action.