Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Google Plus Connect on Flickr

Tag: Helsinki

The future revealed at PRIMER EU

Monday, 20 August, 2018

“The Futures Are Made. But How, Where And By Whom?” That’s the working title of PRIMER EU, a “conference dedicated to… bringing together the leading minds in futures design thinking and doing.” It takes place in Helsinki on 10 and 11 September and going by the list of speakers and their topics, the future is here but it’s not evenly distributed.

Appropriately, the morning keynote, titled ” All Future Everything”, will be delivered by a futurist, Monika Bielskyte, and she’ll be followed by Nicolas Nova and Fabien Girardin, the European half of the Near Future Laboratory. They’ll talk about “Design Fiction in the Fake News Era.” Topical, that.

Next up is Johanna Schmeer, an artist and designer from Berlin. Her talk has a prize-winning title: “Xenodesignerly ways of knowing.” Another designer, Noteh Krauss, from San Francisco, will be talking about “Future Making: Politics and Aesthetics in Kazakhstan.” It’s all about the “histories, politics, design fictions, and mythologies” of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s futuristic capital, Astana. By the way, he’s been president of Kazakhstan since the office was created in 1990 and he intends to keep it that way.

Simone Rebaudengo is a designer based in Shanghai and he’s going to talk about YEAST, a future food laboratory that “imagines products and companies that will improve living through food and technology.” And then it’ll be time for supper, but before the knives and forks come out, Scott Smith of Changeist will round off the talking with a public discussion about “trust in futures practices.” Futurism increasingly affects strategic innovation and policymaking and it’s good to debate it’s validity. Is it reliable. Or is it charlatanism?

It’s a cliché to quote William Gibson in these situations, but here goes: “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”


Gin of the week: Helsinki Dry Gin

Saturday, 9 December, 2017 0 Comments

The Helsinki Distilling company was founded in 2013 in the capital of Finland by three entrepreneurs: Kai Kilpinen, Mikko Mykkänen and Séamus Holohan. Thanks to them, Helsinki’s first distillery for over a century is located in Teurastamo, a former slaughterhouse that has become central to the city’s food culture.

Along with akvavit and applejack, Kilpinen, Mykkänen and Holohan also produce liquors, including the very tempting-sounding Puolukka Gin-Likööri, but pure gin is their premium product: “Helsinki Dry Gin is an artisanal, premium gin distilled with nine choicest hand-picked botanicals including the Arctic lingonberry. Blended with the purest Finnish water, Helsinki Dry Gin is full-bodied and balanced, with aromas of the Nordic forest and floral citrus flavours.”

We purchased bottle number 33-717 to celebrate Finland’s 100th birthday on Wednesday and everything about the experience, from removing the stylish glass stopper to inhaling the first rush of timberland aromatics, was sublime. As this Gin Foundry review from 2015 puts it:

“Helsinki Gin has bright and light floral aromas of citrus, rose, fennel and a verdant juniper on the nose, which are echoed upfront on the palate. The piney elements of juniper come to the fore alongside sharp coriander, presenting an unmistakably ginny profile. However, lingonberries and fennel take it in new directions while a delicate citrus zing balances out the gin. The finish is evocative of walking in a deep Nordic forest with mossy herbaceous tones emerging.”

Helsinki Dry Gin

Note: Helsinki Dry Gin is the sixth in a gin series that began with Blackwater No. 5, was followed by Friedrichs and continued with Dingle, Bulldog and The Botanist.


Haavoittunut enkeli (The Wounded Angel)

Friday, 27 December, 2013 0 Comments

“He watched and was made cognisant of another image, of the Finnish painter Hugo Simberg’s wounded angel, carried by two boys, a painting he had seen as a young man in a Helsinki summer long ago, and which forever changed the way he saw the world.” Submergence by J.M. Ledgard.

Haavoittunut enkeli (The Wounded Angel) is the most famous work by Hugo Simberg, and was voted Finland’s “national painting” in 2006. Simberg declined to offer any deconstruction, suggesting that viewers draw their own conclusions, but it is known that he had suffered from meningitis, and that the painting was a source of strength during his recovery. There is a metaphorical reading in which meningitis causes neck stiffness, which is exhibited by the boy on the right, and if the wings are seen as lungs, an ailment such as tubercular meningitis, which causes abrasions to the upper lungs, might be involved in Simberg’s mysterious, moving painting.

Fallen Angel