Habitare to encourage "creative meetings" as Finland seeks to become global design destination

Promotion: long-running Finnish design fair Habitare will take place in Helsinki in September along with its returning trade platform Habitare Pro.

Running for more than 50 years, Habitare is Finland’s leading design fair and live creative event, providing a platform for the Nordic nation’s designers and brands.

The event will curate the latest furniture, lighting and accessories, as well as showcase material innovation.

Stand at Habitare design fairStand at Habitare design fair
Habitare is a trade show that takes place each September

The fair is now appealing to more international visitors as part of a drive to boost Finland’s profile as a design destination.

“Finland, which was just crowned the happiest country in the world, is a hidden gem of the Nordics. Design is in the DNA of every Finn and an appreciation for nature, craftsmanship and design quality runs deep, as evident in the architecture of Finnish homes,” said Habitare.

Last year, as many trade fairs sought to evolve in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Habitare relaunched Habitare Pro with a new initiative and direction.

A trade and business-to-business platform, Habitare Pro is a reimagining of the traditional design trade fair format. It has been revived for 2024 following its successful debut last year.

Habitare Pro features interactive workshops intended to stimulate meetings, questions and conversations. Networking events are also held in the space, which includes a central bar and meeting lounge.

Habitare Pro business eventHabitare Pro business event
The Habitare Pro platform was relaunched in 2023. Photo is by Antti Rintala

The layout is intended to provide emerging and established brands with a level playing field and an opportunity to showcase products to a targeted business audience.

“The real social media is interaction with people in the flesh,” said Habitare Pro creative brand manager Hanna Laikola.

“Digital advances to meet and present products are fantastic, but nothing beats a creative meeting in a physical environment.”

With the fair attracting both trade and consumer attendees, Habitare’s priority this year is to introduce international visitors to new Nordic brands and introduce Finnish visitors to international brands, as well as present Finland as a hub for sustainability-focused innovation.

Furniture on show at HabitareFurniture on show at Habitare
The design fair aims to promote both emerging and established Finnish designers

The fair’s theme for 2024 is Layers, in reference to the “layered and lived-in feel of homes, spaces and objects”. Habitare will feature an exhibition created by Yatofu, a design studio based in Helsinki and Shanghai, that reflects this theme.

“The theme reminds us of the cyclicity of design, the revival of styles and how old and new exist side by side in every moment,” said Yatofu.

Taking place in the Messukeskus convention centre in central Helsinki, Habitare will run from 11 to 15 September with the first three days dedicated to trade attendees.

The programme will feature several talks with architects and designers such as Fredrik Paulsen, as well as presentations from thinkers, academics and foundations, including the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Habitare design fairHabitare design fair
Finland is seeking to position itself as a hub for design and material innovation

Local showrooms in the Helsinki city centre will also open up during the fair to host events including product launches and parties. According to Habitare, local businesses benefit from increased visibility by collaborating with the fair.

Since its launch in 1970, Habitare has attracted over 50,000 visitors and 400+ exhibitors. To find out more about Habitare, visit the fair’s website. Trade visitors can register to attend here, using the code HABIPRO24. Non-trade visitors can purchase tickets here.

The photography is by Eeva Suutari unless otherwise stated.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen as part of a partnership with Habitare. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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