Helsinki Airport is ready for World Design Capital 2012

2.1.12 at 13:15

"Inspired by the World Design Capital year, we are giving special attention to the service offering and range at Helsinki Airport. Finnish design, art and locally-produced foods are key aspects of our plan," says Airport Director Juha-Pekka Pystynen.

One example mentioned by Pystynen is the new Almost@home lounge, which opened in December.The new lounge is a globally unique lounge concept, which makes use of Artek's 2nd Cycle recycled furnishings to create an atmosphere of a real Finnish home.

The lounge decor also includes original paintings as well as objets d'art and household items by Finnish designers, such as Wirkkala vases. Guests can find something to read on the lounge bookshelves and even get a nice, cosy pair of wool socks to wear from reception. Another new feature is the possibility for lounge guests to purchase any article or furnishing found in the lounge that takes their fancy.

At Helsinki Airport, design is also applied to services and processes.Design is done based on the needs of users and customers and its significance extends to customer service. Pystynen believes that the airport and its routine operations can be further improved through design.

Service design and developing the customer experience are Helsinki Airport's trump cards, which it will use to differentiate itself from other airports. It is also a key factor in enhancing customer satisfaction as well as in achieving the goal of becoming the most popular transit airport for traffic between Europe and Asia.

The recently concluded Quality Hunters project is an excellent example of how services can be developed according to passenger needs. Wishes and suggestions concerning the improvement of services were sought from people interested in the development of air travel. The art gallery is one of the ideas from Quality Hunters that will be realised. The project brought in a total of 250 ideas – every effort will be made to put as many of these as possible into practice.

The airport has made a decision to build several galleries showcasing Finnish art and design.The first of these will be the Design Gallery, whose purpose is to offer passengers not only something to see and do, but also a place where they can take a quiet break from their busy travel routine. The Design Gallery will open in January-February. Other galleries will open later in the spring and summer.

Helsinki Airport is a key partner for WDC 2012. The year's first WDC events at the airport include:

16 January–30 May 2012 Exhibition of three Finnish portrait photographers
January-February Design Gallery opening

3–5 February 2012 World Design Capital weekend events at the airport

1-9 March 2012 Vantaa Art Museum Kauneus 6 exhibition