We love participating in design markets, especially Christmas ones. Where else but here you meet so many kindred spirits and nice people in general – makers, the true magicians of their craft, merrily bustling buyers, and certainly kids, who bounty-hunting for everything around – daddy, daddy, please, buy me that, and that, and also that! This is our kind of fun, no doubt, – to be right in the middle of things, to meet new people, to talk with buyers, knowing that some of them will eventually become our good friends.
The great Paul Rand once said that “Everything is design”. We agree who-le-heart-ed-ly!
So… a properly conceived and designed market starts long before the stalls layout is drafted (oh, the sacred moment!), let alone preparing other market necessities like mulled wine or Christmas trees. A great design market starts with picking a cool venue, designing the logistics, defining the criteria for participants’ selection, etc. This year we’ve made a small cruise around Northern Europe, refreshing our minds and taking a closer look at some new and already established market destinations. Our 2018 selection includes Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga and St. Petersburg Christmas design markets.
Ornamo Christmas design market in Helsinki
It would take Dickens to describe how desperately we wanted to participate in this Christmas event. We started negotiations in July, went through a qualification process not unlike one for the FIFA World Cup. What’s the craze? This market is taking place since 2013 on the premises which once were a cable factory, then hosted several departments of Nokia. In the 80s when industrial spaces were being moved out of town, city authorities were going to use this area for their own well-intended purposes (museums, educational centre, parking, etc.) But… independent designers, artists and architects stood up and fought back, keeping the building and the surrounding territory in the hold of art community.
So, on Dec. 7th-9th 300 design projects will be meeting 20 000 visitors. All kinds of designed things will be present – textiles, graphic artworks, jewellery, interior design items and, surely, candles, home perfumes, accessories and skincare products from Botanic Garden.
We will, just like in a theatre, ‘break the fourth wall’ and bring our customers into the centre of the activities. They will be choosing scents and oils, while our cosmetologist-esthetician Julia Shiryaeva will be doing energizing Christmas hand massage for visitors.
Christmas design market in Tallinn
Estonian Design Centre will be running a Christmas market in Tallinn on the Dec., 16th. The event is hosted at Kultuuri Katel, also known as Tallinn Creative Hub. This venue used to be a thermal electric power station, with the interiors so outstanding and other-worldly that they were features extensively in Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’.
Inside the building is the fabulous several storeys high open space punctuated with hanging pulleys and overhead cranes. Just imagine… right in the middle of this industrial feast are the Christmas gingerbreads, festive textiles, ceramics, and our candles, aromatic compositions, warming oils and scrubs. And again, Julia Shiryaeva with the hands of Lakshmi goddess, who will– using our cosmetics – do marma points hand massage for everyone interested.
Christmas design market in Riga
Enthusiastic and never-resting Latvian designers showcase their work together in a pop-up format – every month at a new location and with new ideas and offerings. The latest market was a special all-black edition. We hope that the Christmas one will be an all-white market. Time and place are not announced yet, so keep your eyes on our blog and social network posts – we will definitely share more details soon.
Christmas design market at “Sevcable Port”, St.Petersburg
A new place of super-power in St. Petersburg. Miles & Yards development company together with the Chvoya architectural bureau have transformed the former cable and electrical equipment factory into a contemporary arts and events space. Things keep getting better here… so far, the biggest cherry on this cake is the seaside promenade offering great views of the landmark bridge across the Neva river delta, along with shipyards and sea passenger port. We have yet to experience, how everything looks and feels here in winter, but in summer the combination of the magnificent views, great people and architectural objects simply takes your breath away.
This Christmas design market is happening on the Dec. 15th-16th and we are participating!
Christmas design market at “New Holland”, St.Petersburg
An old (as in ‘Old World’) and well-established place of power in St. Petersburg – once upon a time it was a Russia’s first ever navy port, it also served as a navy prison and a forge shop. Now it is a multifunctional urban space that includes park, educational facilities, exhibition hall, open air stage, kids’ playground and many other great things. The Christmas market which will run here is a marathon one – opening on the Dec., 25th and going till the Jan., 8th. We will participate on the select days, the exact dates will be posted in coming weeks.