At the roots of Habitare

Helsinki became the world capital of furnishing from the 12th to the 17th September. The theme 'Roots' enabled visitors to establish a connection with Finnish culture

The perfume. It embraces you immediately upon entering Messukeskus, the trade fair complex which hosted the 2018 of Habitare, from the 12th to the 17th September. The aroma of wood, genuine and authentic, exactly like the objectives set out by the event’s curators with the them of Roots. A rediscovery of values, conceived as roots and linked to the territory which have succeeded thanks to love, passion and the processing of this material which means so much more than wood to the Finns. This was also felt by the director and curator of the prestigious American museum Cooper Hewitt, Cara McCarty, a guest and called to assess the finest projects at the furnishing fair: “I’ve probably seen more wood here than I did for the entire year”.


Rooted yes, but with an eye to the future. The visit to the Block Young designers was enriched by the Protoshop exhibitions, where 12 product ideas were presented, and Talentshop, which presented four promising Finnish designers to the world, Teemu Perttunen, Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen, Teemu Salonen and Hanna Särökaari. All projects are underpinned by a thought arising from artisanship, despite presenting an array of different purposes.

With the simple equation colour-happiness, the Signals area proposed its vision of a new Renaissance, grounded in passion and courage. Indeed Helsinki is experiencing a fervent return to art and culture, with numerous designers resolving to embrace sustainable development. The experience is completed by vibrant colours, flower prints and wooden furnishings which exude Finnish style, recognisable across all areas at Habitare.


The fair inserted in Helsinki Design Week presented two other areas. Basking in warm lighting, Habitare Pro emerges as an exploration of the relationship between architecture, lighting and interior design. Habitare Kids, lastly, is the area dedicated to the rediscovery of the child in all of us: a playful experience on a long snake-sofa which helps us to unwind and forget about the grown-up world of business for a few moments.

Signals, photo Martti Jarvi

“Caterpillar Kingdom” emerged from the roots theme of Habitare, conceived by the artist and graphic designer Janine Rewell and the designer Aino Heikken, to explain the diversity of nature and life beneath the surface, to the youngest of visitors too.

Habitare 2018, Habi Kids
Cara McCarty, photo by Matt Flynn