Open Calls

Design Residency 2019 (for Finnish practitioners)


This open call is for practitioners and researchers based in Finland that work at the intersections of design, architecture and art, and have interest in critically investigating design as a cultural practice.

(also open calls available for Russian and UK-based practitioners)


The Helsinki International Artist Programme – HIAP, in partnership with the British Council, Strelka Institute, Helsinki Design Week and Design Museum Helsinki is seeking research proposals for participation in the 2019 Design Residency programme in Helsinki.

The programme comprises two working periods in Helsinki: a two-week research phase in May/June 2019, and a production and presentation phase of one month in August and September that will overlap with the HDW (5 – 15 September 2019).

The design residency was first established in 2012 as part of the World Design Capital programme in Helsinki and is produced in partnership with the British Council, Helsinki Design Week and Design Museum.


The residency invites for practical and critical investigations into design as a cultural practice. This year, we invite with particular focus researches that test the significance of material and materiality between the geological and the digital as a non-stable, critical factor in the organisation of human and non-human life, for example in view of ecological crises or impacts of technological transformations. Further context to the theme is provided in the curatorial statement, which is available for download here.

The Residency

Residency structure

Research Phase: 28 May – 11 June 2019. The first work phase will give the selected practitioners the opportunity to find cooperation partners and establish contacts with local creative practices, institutions and organisations. Residency: 16 August– 16 September 2019. This second phase will coincide with the HDW (5 – 15 September 2019) and will provide an opportunity to consolidate the body of research initiated during the May period and disseminate the finding in Helsinki through public events. For both time periods, the designers-in-residence will be given accommodation in Villa Eläintarha.

Cooperation opportunities

For the first time this year, the residency programme will bring together a total of three residents: a Finland-based practitioner applying through this Open Call; a practitioner invited by Strelka Institute, Moscow; and a practitioner from the UK invited by the British Council. All three designers-in-residence will be given accommodation in Villa Eläintarha, a historic villa in Helsinki’s central Hakaniemi district, to allow interaction, networking or sharing of experiences.

Practitioners will be expected to work independently and, on their own initiative, make local connections themselves, and contribute content in the form of blogs, video diaries and presentations for the online platforms and

Presentation opportunities

The designers-in-residence will be able to present their work to local and international peers, and specialist and public audiences through the HIAP Open Studios, two main events of the Helsinki Design Week, and public events organised at and with the Design Museum:

  • HDW PechaKucha Night taking place during the HDW;
  • Design Diplomacy event at the British Embassy in Helsinki;
  • One panel discussion at the Design Museum to kick off the residency in May, and a second during HDW to present/recapitulate the residency time and work;
  • A physical presentation during HDW will be developed in cooperation with the Design Museum and the Helsinki Design Week in correspondence with the work proposed by the designer-in-residence group.


  • Applicants must be practitioners or researchers in the fields of design, architecture, fashion, design writing, curatorial or cross-disciplinary work and must be based in Finland;
  • Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years’/maximum of 10 years’ experience;
  • Applicants should demonstrate experience of creative practice through design excellence and critical thinking;
  • Applicants should demonstrate experience in collaborative work;
  • Applicants must be able to participate in both work phases (28 May – 11 June, and 16 August– 16 September 2019).

How to apply

Application time: 15 March – 24 April 2019.
Online application form can be found here.

If you would like to apply as a local practitioner, please submit a proposal comprising:

  • Up to five examples of key projects (realised or speculative) that you feel represent your approach;
  • A short statement outlining why you are applying for the local practitioner programme and what you hope to gain from the experience (max 300 words);
  • An activity plan identifying the main stages of your activity from the start of the programme onwards;
  • CV.

Applications should be submitted by 23:59 (UTC+3) on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 using the online application form. Applications sent by other means will not be taken into consideration.


The selection panel will include representatives from the British Council, HIAP, HDW and Strelka Institute as specialists in the realm of different forms of design practice.

Martin Born – HIAP Associate Curator / Helsinki Design Residency
Parvinder Marwaha – Programme Manager Design, British Council
Anni Korkman – Programme Director, Helsinki Design Week
Nicolay Boyadjiev – Education Program Design Tutor, The New Normal, Strelka Institute

Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, 29 April 2019.

The programme award for the local practitioner will consist of

  • Curatorial mentoring, advice and contacts via HIAP and the programme partners;
  • A working grant of 1600 €
  • A production budget of 600 € (e.g. for printing, model-making, prototyping, research visits);
  • Public presentation of the residents’ work during the research phase in May and as part of the Helsinki Design Week in September;
  • Publication of the resident’s work in design media such as Helsinki Design Weekly;
  • Accommodation in a single room at Villa Eläintarha.

The selected local resident will be expected to

  • Provide a research/production plan before the research phase;
  • Participate in workshops, talks or lectures organised in Helsinki where research findings can be presented;
  • Document observations to be published periodically via the HIAP, HDW and the British Council /Architecture Design Fashion websites;
  • Provide a text outlining their main research findings that will be published on HIAP’s website.

Press and publicity

The selected resident is expected to agree to any reasonable requests for press or media, and to discuss media coverage with HIAP. Press information will be agreed upon and released by HIAP.