Helsinki Dress Me Up

Helsinki Dress Me Up workshop was held in Helsinki in the second half of May 2018.

This time the number of participants was smaller, so the concept of the workshop had to be slightly changed compared to the previous two workshops. Instead of working in groups throughout each step of the workshop, the participants started as a group, and ended with the individual designs.

Students took a short walk (max 1 hour) through Kallio, Siltasaari and Merihaka neighbourhoods (see the map below), and created individual sensorial archives.

Group archive discussions lead to one design concept, participants named SHIFTING BALANCE. In the second part of the workshop each student individually further developed the concept.



Moving between perfect and imperfect: sensorial experience of gravitation and transformation in space

In the first step of the workshop we discussed and mapped out (1) how our bodies had felt during the walks, (2) the main sensorial experiences and (3) ideas connected to the designated area. We had all felt interested in some kind of “imperfection” (whether natural surfaces, constructions sites or for example something fixed with tape)—it had made us feel more comfortable than the surrounding architectural background with its artificial perfection. We all agreed that perfection and imperfection are very subjective and fluid concepts. The idea of central (gravitational) elements and their relationship to human body, both in clothing and urban space surfaced as another concept. We also discussed different kinds of movement or shifting of balance.

1. Senses which were strongly engaged in our walk experience:

  • Sight:
    – Permanent urban structures. All the norms and major elements which are generic for the specific space. As our vision gets used to them, we find them less interesting.
    – Textures, materials, colors; small details of the buildings, roads etc.
    – Temporary elements (construction sites, graffiti, electric box fixed with duct tape)
    – Street perspective
    – Light (reflections from the water under the bridge, neon lights; the whole space transformed by street lamps and light in the dark)
  • Touch
    – Tree bark (3-dimensionality)
    – Stones (natural rough surface inviting to touch; warmed by the sun)
  • Smell
    – Coffee and food
    – The rich smell of summer (all scents, both natural and urban, intensified by the warmth)
  • Hearing
    – Background sounds (cars, birds etc.)
    – Non-local languages spoken
    – Skateboarding sounds
    – Water sound (relaxing, meditative)
  • Sense of movement
    – Water and its reflections
    – Shadows of trees dancing on the walls

2. Interaction with the space / how did our bodies feel in the space?

Comfortable, because of:

  • Natural elements in the urban area (rough unpolished stone, water, grass and trees)
  • Spacious, wide streets and alleys (less crowded and hectic, easier to see further distances)
  • Human scale (architectural structures of layered heights, trees)
  • Overall safe atmosphere

3. Thoughts

  • Things out of the ordinary, “imperfect” capture our attention.
  • Central positions guiding the underlying plans. Specific buildings or places appear as the central elements that shape cities; the body as a centre for shaping clothes. Stones placed circularly around trees.


In the second step we discussed those themes further and with the help of drawing schemes and diagrams, distilled our experiences into a one-sentence main concept: “Moving between perfect and imperfect: sensorial experience of gravitation and transformation in space”

We then went on applying this concept to our own ideas, working each on a personal project.


Lisaa Kivimäe: Granite Shoes

Nazanin Akbarian: Dormant Flow

Talisa Dwiyani: Undercover Layers