Päivi Raivio Wins Helsinki Design Award

John Hill
1. September 2022
Helsinki Market Square urban space experiment by RaivioBumann. (Photo: Jussi Hellsten)

Today's announcement fell on the opening day of Helsinki Design Week, which is taking place across the Finnish capital until September 11. Visitors to Helsinki might very well interact with some of Päivi Raivio's creations, which are focused on placemaking, urban design, and public art. One such project, carried out this summer, is a placemaking experiment preceding the renovation of the Helsinki Ylä-Malmi market square; closing September 3, the experiment consists of a trio of oases that will "serve as a model for the future renovation of the square."

Photo: RaivioBumann
"We are passionate about design for change. We do this by re-choreographing public space with placemaking, urban design and public art. Our goal is to create welcoming, healthy and lively public places for all and to create sustainable urban change from neighborhood pocket parks to district wide solutions."


Comments from the Helsinki Design Award jury* focus on Raivio's experience in participatory, or citizen-driven design. Helsinki Design Week founder Kari Korkman, for example, said "Raivio’s work represents great potential" since "experimentation culture can put major changes in motion if designers manage to combine ideas with correct timing."

Hanna Harris, Chief Design Officer of the City of Helsinki, echoed the sentiment: "Päivi Raivio has participated in urban development in the long haul, shaping not only the city space around us, but above all the methods and processes of development. I am happy to give this year’s Helsinki Design Award to an established specialist in citizen-driven design."

LightSwing by RaivioBumann. (Photo: Sami Perttilä)

Raivio earned a BA in Design and Public Art from the University of the Arts London and a Masters in Design and Applied Art of Aalto University. From 2009 to 2014, Raivio worked as a freelance designer, and in 2015 she formed the design agency RaivioBumann with Daniel Bumann. Raivio is a co-founder of Parkly, a manufacturer of modular urban furniture, one of the founders of the urban agriculture centre Turntable in Helsinki, and a member of the Placemaking Europe network.

*Helsinki Design Award Jury:

  • Kari Korkman (Chairman), Helsinki Design Week Founder and Director 
  • Hanna Harris, City of Helsinki Design Director
  • Taina Seitsara, Urban Tech Helsinki
  • Kalle Toivonen, Måndag Arto Sivonen
  • Virva Haltsonen, Pentagon Design

Helsinki Design Award 2022 winner Päivi Raivio. (Photo: Iiris Sjöblad)

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