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Explore the artistic and literary aesthetics of Helsinki

China Daily Lifestyle Premium | Updated: 2019-04-13 10:33
The entrance to the Central Library Oodi from Sanomatalo TUOMAS UUSHEIMO/© HELSINKI MARKETING

Style and sophistication sit so effortlessly with social accessibility and simplicity in Helsinki that more than a lifestyle, they feel like a divine right. Design and Helsinki are natural bedfellows - and perhaps all those long, dark winters and short, almost night-less summers make nature the place's most appropriated inspiration. From Alvar Aalto's buildings and iconic birch stools to the Gustav Nystrom-created Design Museum, located inside a former school building in the Kaarti area, everywhere you step lends a primer on Finnish design.

Punavuori, home to the city's design district, comprises 25 streets and more than 200 retail nirvanas - and along the way is an education. The Littala and Arabia Design Center, bringing together two of Finland's most famous labels, is the newest addition to the area. More than just a window into the past, present and future of ceramics and glassware, the center invites you to interact with working artists and explore your own creativity through guided tours, lectures and events.

Inside, there's The Design Lab, an inspired space for new ideas and unexpected creativity that's open to designers, visitors, students and the eternally curious. With free WiFi and coffee, color guides and inspirational books, it's a design shrine to the continuous process of experimentation, much like the city and its residents. You can spend days in this science-meets-medicine-meets-architecture-meets-art gallery space and never get bored.

After, pop into Finnish furniture studio Nikari, which makes custom-built pieces, or the also life-enhancing concept store and gallery Lokal, home to independent Finnish art, design and craft.

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