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Design and innovation

His Royal Highness The Crown Prince had a varied programme on his second day in Finland. Schools, a design company, seafood and research were on the agenda, before the visit concluded at the Finnish national gallery, Ateneum.


The first visit of the day took place at Kallio primary school, which has a relatively high proportion of ethnic minority pupils. Emphasis is placed on language instruction, and the Crown Prince visited a group of Finnish-speaking children undergoing intensive instruction in Swedish as well as a classroom of minority pupils studying Finnish.


Finnish design is highly regarded, and the Finnish clothing and design label Marimekko is well-known internationally. Marimekko produces clothing, accessories and various home furnishings, and had 108 retail outlets in 40 countries at the end of 2012. 

On Wednesday, Crown Prince Haakon paid a visit to the headquarters, where the company’s director Mika Ihamuotila gave the Crown Prince a tour of the textile printing facility. Large, bold prints are a hallmark of Marimekko’s textile design.

Norwegian seafood

Lunch was combined with the promotion of Norwegian seafood. Most of Finland’s imported seafood comes from Norway. Salmon, shrimp and herring are especially popular. Salmon exports from Norway to Finland have increased dramatically in recent years.

The well-known Finnish chef Kari Aihinen presented the raw ingredients and gave a cooking demonstration for the Crown Prince and the other guests.

At Aalto University

The new Aalto University, named after the renowned Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, was established in 2010 from a merger of three former universities and encompasses six university colleges as well. Some 20 000 students study a wide variety of subjects, including engineering, the technical sciences, art, design and architecture.  

A cooperative relationship has been established between the Department of Engineering Design and Materials at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Aalto University Design Factory in the areas of product development, design, radical innovation and education. The Crown Prince was given a presentation of this collaboration.

During the visit by the Crown Prince, a workshop organised by Music Finland and Music Norway was held at the university. Crown Prince Haakon visited the workshop, which focused on digital music services.


The Crown Prince concluded his stay in Helsinki with a visit to Ateneum, Finland’s national gallery, where he had the opportunity to view the main part of the exhibition “On the Shores of the Lake – Tuusula Artist Community” as well as individual works from the permanent collection. Two of these will soon be on display in a Finnish-Norwegian exhibition at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo.

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