16 Aug 2012

Making Helsinki a happier place

When I saw Helsinki for the first time I honestly thought that was a pretty dark soulless city.
I couldn't help but compare it with Barcelona or other European capitals, and of course I found many differences. Not only the architecture was odd to me (Finns are the kings of the "grey box" architectural movement)...

The ugliness of this building hits me in the face every morning when coming out from the train (from here)

 ...but also the general vibe of the city, it was kind of depressing.
However, I think Helsinki is one of those cities that grows on you, and with the years I have learned to like it. You just have to get under the grey layer and you will discover a completely different (and beautiful) city.

Yeah, Helsinki might not be the prettiest city in the world. So what?
Are we just going to seat comfortably in our Ikea sofa and complain about it? I am not.

I know we might not able to change the architecture... nor the laws that forbid to decorate your entrance door with pink bright paint. But it actually doesn't take so much effort to make Helsinki a happy city, even if it is only for a little while.

Look for example what the guys from  We love Helsinki organized, an event called "katutaidekierros" which could be translated to "street art tour", check it out.

I'm the one the Police car is looking at! (min. 00:10 and min. 00:25)... I must say that what we did was kind of illegal, but I think we were too cute to end up in jail.

Carolina, Pilar and me in the middle of the creative process.
Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta

Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta
Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta

Photo: Ossi Pirkonen

Photo: Ossi Pirkonen

Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta
Photo: Ossi Pirkonen

It is funny how easily you can impact your environment in a positive way.

So... people out there: I strongly encourage you to add something beautiful and/or unexpected (even if it is a very very tiny thing) to the city you love. Everybody will benefit from it.

P.S. Our pieces of art didn't last very long (the same night most of the stickers were removed by the city's cleaning brigade), which is a pity, but I like to think that we made the city a bit more colorful at least for a little while... maybe we even made someone smile, and that alone makes it totally worthy.


  1. Oh this is your old post but I still found it very cute and interesting. You are right that HKI needs more of this creative and cute looking art :)

    1. Thanks!! I think it is getting better and better since I wrote this post! :-D


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.