Helsinki famously didn’t want a Guggenheim Museum – possibly a bit passé – and it’s very expensive to hang that surname over your parabolic arch. Instead, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the City of Helsinki have had their own brainwave: to build “the world’s best architecture and design museum” in their town. Simple as that. The best one. The institution will show how the man-made world had been built, out of what and why, and will also, through public engagement, attempt to solve the problems of the future.
How many design museums is too many? There’s the ArkDes museum in Stockholm and the V&A, having done Dundee, is building V&A East in Stratford, east London. Whatever. How about a V&A Local and a V&A Express on every corner selling William Morris mugs and Frank Gehry fridge magnets? We applaud Helsinki. Why not do it yourself?