Open Calls

Helsinki Design Residency 2020 (for Finland-based practitioners)

Helsinki International Artist Programme – HIAP, Strelka Institute and Iaspis, in cooperation with Helsinki Design Week and Design Museum Helsinki are seeking research proposals for participation in the 2020 Helsinki Design Residency programme.

The programme is open for practitioners and researchers in design, architecture and related fields who have an interest in critically and practically exploring design and its interfaces as a cultural practice.

The residency comprises two presence periods in Helsinki: a two-week research phase in May/June and a production and presentation phase of one month in August and September 2020.

The Design Residency will bring together three independent practitioners. Through this call, one Finland-based practitioner will be selected to join the programme. Further calls are open for applicants based in Russia and Sweden, respectively. The Design Residency programme was established in 2012 as part of the World Design Capital event in Helsinki.




The Helsinki Design Residency intends to give opportunity to designers for exploring (their) current and possible future forms of practice, to view their work in new contexts and mark endeavors onto new paths. As a stimulation to this end, the 2020 edition proposes the concept of “intelligences” as a reference or framework for the formulation of possible residency projects. Please find the curatorial statement for further context to the theme.



The residency

Residency structure

The Design Residency will bring together three independent practitioners, one each from Russia, Sweden and Finland. All residents will be accommodated during two presence periods in Helsinki at Villa Eläintarha, a historic villa in Helsinki’s central Hakaniemi district.

Phase 1: 23 May – 7 June 2020

The first residency phase will give the selected practitioners the opportunity to conduct local research, find cooperation partners and establish contacts with local creative practices, institutions and organizations.

Phase 2: 15 August – 15 September 2020

The second residency phase will provide opportunity to consolidate the body of research initiated in the spring period and to disseminate project findings through public events in Helsinki. This phase is coordinated with the Helsinki Design Week festival (3 – 13 September 2020).


Presentation opportunities

The designers-in-residence will have opportunity to present their work to local and international peers and specialist and general public audiences from Finland and abroad through the HIAP Open Studios and a number of public opportunities organized in cooperation with the Design Museum and Helsinki Design Week:

  • A panel discussion at the Design Museum during the first residency phase
  • A panel discussion at Helsinki Design Week during the second residency phase
  • The Helsinki Design Week’s PechaKucha Night during the second residency phase

Conceiving an additional project showcase as part of Helsinki Design Week will be explored together with the programme partners in correspondence with the residents’ projects.


Programme provisions

The programme award for the selected Finland-based practitioner will consist of:

  • Accommodation in a single room at Villa Eläintarha
  • A production budget of 600 EUR (e.g. for printing, model-making, prototyping, research visits)
  • Curatorial mentoring
  • Public presentation of the residents’ work during the research phase in May and as part of the Helsinki Design Week in September 2020
  • Publication on the resident’s work in media such as Helsinki Design Weekly


The selected practitioner will be expected to:

  • Work independently and, on their own initiative, make local connections
  • Be ready to participate in the public presentation events in Helsinki
  • Be ready to contribute with content to be published periodically through the online channels of the programme partners
  • Provide feedback and a final residency report outlining their main research findings

Residents are also expected to agree to all reasonable requests for press or media, and to discuss media coverage with HIAP. Press information will be agreed upon and released by HIAP.



How to apply

Application time: 27 January – 15 March 2020
Submission deadline: Sunday, 15 March 2020, 23:59 CET

Applications should be submitted via the “Apply now” button at the end of this page.


To apply, please submit a proposal comprising:

  1. Position statement
    Present your perspective onto this year’s residency theme and your critical ambitions in applying to the programme. (Max. 250 words.)
  2. Research/project proposal
    Present the research/project you wish to conduct during the time of the residency, including your points of interest and the questions you wish to explore. (Max. 500 words.)
  3. Working plan
    Present a realistic road map with the activities you will undertake from the beginning to the conclusion of the residency (considering also the time in between them).
  4. Portfolio
    Up to five examples of key projects (realized or speculative) that represent your practice and approach
  5. Curriculum vitae





Applications will be evaluated on base of the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be practitioners or researchers working in or at the interfaces of domains concerned creatively with the built and interactive environment
  • Applicants must be based in Finland
  • Applicants must be able to communicate fluently in English
  • Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years of experience
  • Applicants should demonstrate experience in 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 (23 May – 7 June and 15 August – 15 September 2018)



The Finland-based resident will be selected by a panel of representatives from HIAP, Strelka Institute, Helsinki Design Week and Design Museum:

  • Martin Born – Design programme associate curator, HIAP
  • Nicolay Boyadjiev – Programme design tutor, The Terraforming, Strelka Institute
  • Anni Korkman – Programme director, Helsinki Design Week
  • Hanna Kapanen – Educational curator, Design Museum
  • Juha Huuskonen – Director, HIAP

The successful applicant will be notified in the first week of April 2020.




Helsinki International Artist Programme – HIAP

HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme is an international artist residency organisation which was established in 1998.The HIAP residency programme offers time and space for developing new work in dialogue with the local cultural scene. The goal is to support experimental, cross-disciplinary practices and to actively contribute to topical debates within and around the context of art and culture. The Design Residency programme was established in 2012 as part of the World Design Capital event in Helsinki.


Strelka Institute

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design is a non-profit educational institution in Moscow, Russia, founded in 2009 with a mission to change the physical and cultural landscape of Russian cities. The Institute promotes positive changes and creates new ideas and values through its educational activities and programmes. Strelka’s newly inaugurated postgraduate programme, “The Terraforming,” explores the past transformations of Earth by humankind and those that will be necessary now to counter the global ecological and other consequent crises in a renewed Copernican turn in both theory and practice. |



Iaspis is the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists. Its mission is to work with internationalisation in various ways with the aim of increasing and developing contacts between Swedish artists and international institutions, fellow artists, the general public and the markets with the aim of contributing to artistic development and improved working and income opportunities. This is done by means of direct support for various forms of international cultural exchange, studio programmes in Sweden and abroad, informational activities and expert visits, as well as via a public programme of activities which formulate and explore topical issues in contemporary visual art and design from an international perspective.


Helsinki Design Week

Founded in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Held annually in September, the multidisciplinary festival presents design from a number of fields as well as fashion, architecture and urban culture. Helsinki Design Week presents the new faces and phenomena of design, promotes design internationally in collaboration with various partners and offers city citizens through design a forum to participate in developing and discussing the city and its culture. The festival’s programme contains over 250 events and includes both events targeted for professionals and the general public reaching an audience of 160,000 visitors.


Design Museum

Founded in 1873, Design Museum is an internationally renowned national specialist museum of Finnish design. Design Museum researches, collects, stores and documents design, and displays it both in Finland and in touring exhibitions abroad.