Author Archives: pigasus


The Spirit of Artova has been gathering information about self-motivated, spontaneous and self-directed activities. By the end of the year 2012, six separate working groups had written nearly 180 updates describing their projects. This material will be analyzed and turned into a visual, interactive operations model by September 2013. Beta version will be out in June 2013.
The Spirit of Artova realized three concepts: Arabia City Garden, My House Arabianranta and Design Dog Park. In addition, three large events were organized during the initiative: Artova Kino, Artova Film Festival (AFF) and Arabia Street Festival. Over the year 2012 we had some 11 000 visitors and over the duration of the entire initiative nearly double the number.
Six separate self-directed and self-motivated working groups realized the concepts and events in co-operation with several partners. The working groups consisted of volunteers who were mainly residents of the Arabianranta/Toukola/Vanhakaupunki areas, students, employees and others, such as schools, city officials, entrepreneurs and agents in the non-profit sector. Crucial positions were held by 107 people and there were altogether about 350 contributors. The Spirit of Artova is based on co-operation and partners; 89 companies, associations, networks, officials and schools were involved in the projects.
The operational model is officially released in 2013 but it has been introduced to numerous Finnish and Nordic cultural agents and district planners in 2012.
The Spirit of Artova has enjoyed a good visibility in the media. In addition to Kuohu, the local district magazine, The Spirit of Artova has featured in at least fifteen newspapers and magazines, and appeared on two tv channes, five radio channels and thirty virtual newspapers and blogs.
The Spirit of Artova initiative has made the district association Artova a more prominent pioneer of fresh, new city district culture and art forms. Helping people to commit to projects has gained new structural background and strength. Through the projects and events, the Arabianranta district residents and other agents have developed their home district together, in a number of ways, and made it even more their own.

Numbers for Design Dog Park:

working group of 8 people
6 designers (an architect, several decorators, a teacher and a student of 3D mobile applications, a student of design)
4 events (such as a snow dog park)
about 300 visitors
6 partners (Vireko, Neroko, Royal Canine, Pedigree, Helsinki City Planning Department)
media visibility (a broadsheet, a dog magazine, and appearance on tv)
Products: a complete plan for Design Dog Park and a 3D model

Together with the city of Helsinki, a group consisting of local dog enthusiasts designed and conceptualized a fresh, new concept for a dog park that takes into account the comfort of dog owners and dogs alike. The process cast also light on the kinds of problems there are currently in the co-operation between the city, residents and companies.

Pictures by Timo Kirkkala
Numbers for My House Arabianranta

90 residents participated in the organization altogether, 20 of which were particularly active
15 designers (architects, artists), who gave 12 guided tours, and one graphic designer
Nearly 20 smaller events (such as concerts, workshops, exhibitions, pop-up cafés) with about 30 performers and organizers
about 250 visitors
20 partners (such as Design Week, OpenHouseHelsinki, Skanska, Fiskars, Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region, Urban Creativity initiative of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Recycling centre, K-supermarket Arabianranta…)
Media (local tv station and newspaper, radio station, a magazine)
Products: a concept that can be used anywhere in or outside of Finland, increased co-operation between neighbors
free of charge for all visitors

My House Arabianranta deepened the relationship between the residents of eight houses and architecture, public art and their own house and turned the contributing groups into communities. The project created a new concept through which the dreams and opportunities envisioned by designers were transferred to the residents. The project was also able to highlight the special features of city planning visible in Arabianranta (shared yeards, roof-top saunas) and explain how these solutions have promoted the birth of communities in the district. The same concept can be replicated anywhere. ( – in Finnish)


Numbers for Aalto City Garden

Working group of 6 people
3 designers and 4 students of design (an art co-ordinator, environmental art, architects)
30 mini allotments
11 partners (such as Fiskars, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, City of Helsinki Real Estate Department, Aalto University – Environmental Art, University of Helsinki Botanic Garden…)
Media visibility (Helsingin Sanomat, local tv station, Helsingin outset, Vartti, Mtero, Chydenius, Ruokatieto magazine, the local paper, Mingpao weekly, urban gardening website)
Products: A cultivated piece of environmental art, a community of 30 urban gardeners, a concept that can be replicated in other districts and cities.
The gardeners paid their own expenses.

Aalto City Garden, an aesthetic and ethically sustainable, cultivated piece of environmental art, was a project that took off from the idea of area residents. It was realized together with the city of Helsinki and Aalto University School of Environmental Art. Over the course of the project the gardeners came to form a community.

Video (StadiTV, in Finnish)
Pictures by Janne Kareinen

Numbers for Artova Film Festival AFF

working group of 17 people (producers, publicists, film-makers, residents and students)
4 designers (a decorator, two graphic designers, an illustrator)
89 contest films
6 shows
3 supplementary events
24 partners (such as Helsinki International Film Festival, Helsinki Short Film Festival, Heltech AV, Aalto University, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Pop & Jazz Conservatory, City of Helsinki Cultural Office, P. Mutasen elokuvakonepaja…)
Media visibility (newspapers, local tv, several publications for film enthusiasts,, Finnish Cultural Foundation etc.)
About 1200 visitors
No entrance fee

Artova Film Festival AFF was about conceptualizing a local film festival and developing the festival to serve also film-makers ( – in Finnish).


Numbers for Arabia Street Festival

working group of 14 people (a producer, a spokesperson, residents, employees and students)
1 designer (graphic designer)
114 artists (fine arts, dance, music…)
26 yard sales
10 pop-up cafés
7 workshops
3 recycling points
Design Bazar of repurposed goods
5 video photography groups
33 partners (such as Dialab, Comics Center, Pop & Jazz Conservatory, local tv station and paper, City of Helsinki Cultural Office, Arabianranta Library, Parents associations Floora daycare and Arabian peruskoulu school, Bookcrossing Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation…)
Media visibility (national radio station, several city papers, local tv station,,, appearance in a variety of blogs etc.)
about 6000 visitors on the whole

Arabia Street Festival has evolved into the largest recycling and street art event in the Helsinki region. A co-production model based on self-motivation, spontaneity and self-direction has been put together over the course of the process. ASF brings art into unconventional environments and creates a new dimension to the meaning of street art in Finland.  ( – in Finnish)

Video clips

Numbers for Artova Kino

working group of 10 people (film-makers, residents, students)
nearly 20 professionals giving pre-show introductory speeches
27 shows
1 mini seminar about the Artova Kino concept
11 partners (such as Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finlandsvenskt filmcentrum, Institut Français, Goethe-Institut, City of Helsinki Cultural Office, Finnish Cultural Foundation…)
Media visibility (blogs, national radio station, local and city papers etc.)
about 3000 visitors
Products: the most wonderful film club in all of Finland and the concept for a local film club

Artova Kino created a concept for a local film club. The concept has been introduced in a mini seminar and later in the districts of Kontula, Pikku-Huopalahti, Merirastila and Porvoo, and it has already been utilized in order to start a film club in Oulunkylä. ( – in Finnish)

Numbers for The Spirit of Artova blog

one project leader, directorial group of three, one co-ordinator
4 designers (interactive visualists, a graphic designer, a web designer)
1 web programmer
102 articles (about 180 by the end of the year)
5 partners (Fountain park, Pigasus Translations, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University – Media Lab)
3 main funders (WDC Helsinki 2012, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Artova district association)

Picture at the top by Tuulia Kolehmainen, Heltech AV

Translation by Pigasus Translations.

Posted in Kokonaisuus / Entity, Media |

IMG_3442_As you are in the process of organising the event, you can make publicity as you go along, but remember that the event itself lasts only a few days and involves a very limited number of houses. You need agility and different kinds of logistics to make everything suit the different locations.

Subject matter

The core idea of the event was to discuss with the house designers, face-to-face and on the spot, the early stages of the building, the solutions that were made back then, and have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts. The easiest way to do this is to go for guided tours or to use a common space (a club room, for example) for presentations with a video projector or photos.

Supplementary activities

It was a pleasant surprise to see so many supplementary activities that came on top of the core content. The idea was to discover the special features of each house and show a multitude of different ways of making use of common spaces. For example, the residents used the common spaces to showcase their skills (dancing) and hobbies (bird-watching), to put up a café… one group arranged themselves along a corridor and recited poems written about the building – the atmosphere was lovely. (more…)

Posted in Ajankäyttö / Time management, Asukkaat / Residents, Jatkokehitys / Follow-up development, Muut / Others, My House Arabianranta, Projektit / Tapahtumat, Prosessin hallinta / Process management, Viestintä / Markkinointi / PR / Marketing, Yhteistyö / Co-operation |

The My HouseMTA_yhteistapaaminen_III_14051209 Arabianranta event of September 2012 was organised mainly by volunteers consisting of residents, architects and artists. Other local interest groups (such as students of the local universities) were also involved.


Brainstroming for ideas

It’s a good idea to invest some time and thought into the first brainstorming session. Once the first session is over, you’ll be able to form a project group with those who want to be involved and allocate tasks and responsibilities. It’s good if there is a small team of two or three for each tasks – this is for the project group but particularly for the volunteering residents in the houses that feature in the event. This way there is always more than one person who knows about things, nobody has to work alone and things don’t pile up on any one person. In addition, you get to know new people and get to spend time in good company.

Contact persons

The initiative as a whole needs one contact person who is in charge of the entity. It’s also a good idea to have two contact persons for each participating house who spread information and answer questions. (more…)

Posted in Ajankäyttö / Time management, Asukkaat / Residents, Avoimuus / Läpinäkyvyys / Openness / Transparency, Jatkokehitys / Follow-up development, Motivaatio / Motivation, My House Arabianranta, Omaehtoisuus / Itseohjautuvuus / Initiative / Self-direction, Projects / Events in english, Prosessin hallinta / Process management, Ryhmän dynamiikka / Group dynamics, Sitoutuminen / Commitment, Yhteistyö / Co-operation |

MTA_Posliinikatu2_kertsiThe preparations for My House Arabianranta, an event in September 2012 that showcased local houses and their architectural solutions, were started in January 2012. Below you’ll find a bunch of observations that may help someone out there replicate the event and develop the concept further.



For organisational reasons and media relations it’s vital to have one appointed person others can asks for advice and who channels the publicising efforts. In all other respects it’s a good idea to share responsibilities. My House Arabianranta event introduces more than one residential building to event guests, and so it would be very functional to give to the volunteers from these houses the responsibility for providing content right from the start. The clearest way to might be to have each house put up their own programme and take of any permits.


Posted in Ajankäyttö / Time management, Asukkaat / Residents, Jatkokehitys / Follow-up development, Muut / Others, My House Arabianranta, Projects / Events in english, Prosessin hallinta / Process management, Prosessin kulku / Process development, Yhteistyö / Co-operation |

If you’re like me, in the spur of the moment you take on way too many tasks and then hope that you could have more time to really concentrate on each one.


In my hand I have a printed version of the programme of My House Arabianranta, an event showcasing different residential buildings. It looks great and colourful, and it lists a handful of addresses already familiar to me and more shows and acts than I can count with my fingers.


In 2012, Lahti, Helsinki and the rest of the capital region were some of the World Design Capitals. In autumn 2011 Arabianranta-Toukola-Vanhakaupunki district association, Artova, applied for a WDC status for some of the up-coming events. My House Arabianranta was one of the events that were granted the status.


Posted in Ainutlaatuisuus / Omaehtoisuus / Uniqueness / Originality, Ajankäyttö / Time management, Asukkaat / Residents, Jatkokehitys / Follow-up development, Muut / Others, My House Arabianranta, Omaehtoisuus / Itseohjautuvuus / Initiative / Self-direction, Prosessin hallinta / Process management, Ryhmän dynamiikka / Group dynamics, Sitoutuminen / Commitment, Uncategorized, Yhteistyö / Co-operation |

You can make local residential buildings and their architects known to locals and visitors alike by making use of the My House concept developed by Artova (=the Arabianranta, Toukola and Vanhakaupunki district association) during World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.


The initial plan in the Spirit of Artova initiative group was to create a free-to-use concept for six projects/events that would be based on self-direction and spontaneity. The volunteers would have the power to use the working methods they see fit and can pull off without any special skills, and the projects would look like the volunteers behind them.


Posted in Avoimuus / Läpinäkyvyys / Openness / Transparency, Jatkokehitys / Follow-up development, Muut / Others, My House Arabianranta, Omaehtoisuus / Itseohjautuvuus / Initiative / Self-direction, Prosessin hallinta / Process management |

What are the ingredients of good co-operation? What are the factors that aid or hinder successful self-directive and spontaneous operation? These are the questions Avanto Helsinki strives to answer by analysing how Spirit of Artova projects and events were organised. Avanto Helsinki is giving a hand in visualising the operation model of Artova and making the experiences of participants easy to approach.

Avanto Helsinki is a research workshop founded in 2012. Avanto Helsinki is for a more open and creative society and strives to create unexpected connections between people and ideas. “Spirit of Artova is a brilliant example of a new and inspiring way to create an urban community. We are very excited to be able to participate in the analysis of lessons learned in Artova and contribute in this way to similar activities being carried out elsewhere in the society,” comments Mariko Sato of Avanto Helsinki.

For further information (in Finnish):


Translation by Pigasus Translations.

Posted in Kokonaisuus / Entity, Rakennus / Toteutus / Construction / Realisation, Vaikuttavuus / Impact, Yritykset / Companies |

How to make blog entries into a meaningful entity? By making a rough plan, preferably beforehand. And by writing often but little.

One of the duties in leading Spirit of Artova WDC projects that describe the spirit and attitude to work here in Arabianranta, Toukola and Vanhakaupunki was to blog about the twists and turns of process development or management (like group dynamics, activity or agreements). A great deal of blog entries has sprung up for the visual modelling of My House Arabianranta, a project that showcased local residential buildings as a part of Spirit of Artova.


Posted in My House Arabianranta |

Blogging is a valuable tool but it’s oh so difficult to prioritise it.

Pleasant writing conditions are the first prerequisite for putting words on paper. For example, words flow the best at mbar where the beat of the bass is everywhere and there’s a steaming cup of tea or a glass of grapefruit juice to fuel the thoughts. It facilitates things to have people around you, others who are busy working. At home, the only time writing is easy is if the apartment is clean and there’s good work music in the earphones and a possibility for a solitary moment that isn’t away from your night’s sleep.

Posted in Ajankäyttö / Time management, Avoimuus / Läpinäkyvyys / Openness / Transparency, Motivaatio / Motivation, My House Arabianranta, Omaehtoisuus / Itseohjautuvuus / Initiative / Self-direction, Prosessin hallinta / Process management, Sitoutuminen / Commitment, Viestintä / Markkinointi / PR / Marketing |

What’s so hard about blogging? Wasn’t blogging supposed to be the lightest form of writing? Ideally, blogging involves a number of principles of good journalism, which does take a bit of planning before letting the pen fly on the page.

The thing that troubles me most about blogging is the danger of underestimating the reader. When the text is online, the reader could be anyone, looking for anything, and probably picky about the sites they want to spend time on. The question isn’t facilitated by the fact that the blog entries will remain the same even as time passes. And of course, one has to take the time to knuckle down.

Like in other WDC initiatives of Spirit of Artova, a part of My House Arabianranta was to blog about the experiences from and turning points of the project for a visual model. The blogging training, courtesy of the author and journalist Anu Silfverberg, helped to see the blogosphere and the reader through the eyes of a journalist. Here are five of the most important lessons Anu taught us:

Posted in Uncategorized |