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“Great Intro to Finnish Design”
Review of Design Museum

Design Museum
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$23.87*
and up
Design Walking Tour of Helsinki
Ranked #49 of 340 things to do in Helsinki
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed June 24, 2013

This museum was a perfect introduction to the history of Finnish design for me, as someone who enjoys beautiful, practical things, but doesn't have much background knowledge.

The main exhibit on the first floor traces the evolution of Finnish Design from the latter part of the 19th century through today. Each room covered maybe 20 years. The chronological set-up was very user-friendly. Each room has one or two large explanatory notes on a wall that connects the design trends with the social/cultural/political/economic forces of the of that time period. Basic, but I got a lot out of reading them.

The exhibit was very traditional in the sense of "pottery behind glass" and "furniture behind rope" and "clothing hanging from hangers." But the items were interesting, and seeing them in a museum made me look at them in a different way.

The temporary exhibits upstairs didn't leave much of an impression, and the lighting was gloomy up there. There was no temporary exhibit when I went downstairs.

I only had about an hour to visit this museum, but it was sufficient to take my time and really enjoy the permanent exhibit. I prefer to spend about 90 minutes or less in a museum, after which I get museum fatigue, so this suited me well.

The small gift shop is a bit cramped, but has a nice selection of objects, some of which I didn't see elsewhere. When the items were ones I had seen elsewhere, the prices were the same. However, the gift shop doesn't do tax-free shopping.

For the rest of my trip, I felt like my visit to this museum made me see the items I saw in stores in a new light, and I feel like I have a better sense of the significance of every day objects, and their form, function, and provenance, than I did before.

1  Thank Sheila P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"angry birds"
in 6 reviews
"permanent display"
in 4 reviews
"interesting exhibits"
in 6 reviews
"main exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"last century"
in 3 reviews
"changing exhibitions"
in 4 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 16 reviews
"gift shop"
in 7 reviews
"alvar aalto"
in 7 reviews
"helsinki card"
in 10 reviews
"rainy day"
in 6 reviews
"objects"
in 27 reviews
"nokia"
in 14 reviews
"scissors"
in 14 reviews
"glassware"
in 13 reviews
"history"
in 60 reviews
"collection"
in 22 reviews
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254 - 258 of 497 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2013

The same sensation I had at the architecture museum I have with this one. Finnish design have influenced the world in the way it was done is not very well documented here. The exhibition is done in a old style, and the highlights are not easy to pick and understand. Taking in consideration the importance of the finnish design for Finland and the world it should deserve more than what is presented.

Thank darwinsail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I expected the museum would be full of surprise. However, in any means it's quite boring. Exhibition is all about Finnish designer furniture and home products, more a less like a shop show room. Quite disappointed.

Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

the entrance fee is about 8 euro per person. you can reach museum with tram 6 (rute Arabia area) or tram 10 ...i reccomend to every tourist to issue Helsinki card for 2 days...it costs 48 euro per person and it offers you free entrance to every museum, discount to Tallink firm (boat that you take it from Helsinki to Tallin), also you can take every bus/metro/tram free...finally you have discount to some restaurants ....
quite intersting museum but we saw the exhibition in the first floor because there was rennovation to the other floors.

1  Thank pavlosmaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 31, 2013

I had expected more from a design museum in the country that had been judged to be the Design Capital of the World in 2012. The display of the items was only average and could have been made more exciting. There were some interesting items but there was no imagination used in their display. The best part was a small display in the basement of a project that some design students had done with students from an overseas university interviewing elderly people and learning about their needs and how they could design everyday items for them. Glad to see that design students are learning what occupational therapists have known for 50 years.

Thank TravelbugVietnam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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