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Helsinki Design Residency 2018 - part one

May 23, 2018

It's nearly the end of the first part of my design residency here in Helsinki with the British Council and HIAP. It's been a busy and inspiring time meeting up with some familiar faces, making new connections/friends and looking deeper into the world of täkänäs and asking myself and others lots of questions.

 Villa Eläintarha in Helsinki, my home for two weeks 

The theme of this year's residency is 'Arranging Practice: Proximity, Distance, Instance' and I've been thinking alot about the relationship I and others have with their chosen tools, materials and manufacturing methods in regards to our creative practices. My research here has also been to gain further knowledge about the täkänä process and meanings behind the motifs as a source for further inspiration, discussion and hopefully collaboration.

 Timo Sarpaneva (1926-2006), his work is the focus on an exhibition at the DesignMuseum in Helsinki until the 23rd September 2018.

My thoughts need time to process which is why this residency is perfectly structured - two weeks of research right now, then back to Glasgow for eight weeks before I return in mid August to pull my thoughts together and create something new. It's always a bit daunting when as a designer, you embark on a new challenge, the creative process can be fraught with challenges and problem solving but it's important I think, to put yourself out there and take a risk, it helps you to move forward. New challenges can mean new rewards and vital learning, often through making mistakes, but it's important to embrace that you might make these and I'm excited to see where this takes me.

As a round up to this first stage of the residency, myself and Finnish designer in residence Elina Laitinen will be part of the following panel discussion on Friday at the Design Museum here in Helsinki:

Panel discussion with HIAP designers-in-residence 2018, Laura Spring and Elina Laitinen

Friday 25th May, at 16-19 at Design Museum Helsinki
Free entrance, program in English

Panel: Laura Spring (designer, UK), Elina Laitinen (designer, Finland), Juuso Tervo (Researcher, Aalto Unniversity), Leena Svinhufvud (Educational Curator, Design Museum Helsinki) and Martin Born (deisgn and curator at HIAP, Finland)


The HIAP design residency is produced in cooperation with the British Council, Helsinki Design Week, Aalto University and the Design Museum.


If you want to follow more of my journey, then head over to Instagram where I document my design process more regularly.

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