HELSINKI AND OTHER CITIES, DESIGN AND FINNISH CULTURE
I know Finland like the back of my hand. I have studied and worked there, I speak the language, and understand the Finnish mentality, I dare say. I am not Finnish, but I’ve always felt that it’s a country that is very close to my heart. It simply feels like home to me.
I can’t get enough of going back to my favourite places, such as the western coast of the Gulf of Bothnia near Vaasa. Or the Kvarken archipelago, consisting of 5,600 islands with moraines and spectacular stone mounds formed by glacial activity and the melting of the continental ice sheet more than 10,000 years ago. The archipelago has risen continuously from the sea at an unusually high speed, so in the many gardens of the inhabited areas you will find huge rounded boulders that were lying in the sea only a few hundred years ago .
When in Finland, I spend most of my time in Helsinki – a modern metropolis known as the city of design. I never miss a chance to stop by the Marimekko, Pentik, and Artek design stores to see what the latest trends are. Every once in a while, I take a ferry to the nearby island of Suomenlinna to find a quiet corner, sit on rocks, look out to sea, and observe the passing ferries and boats.