Very excited, as “the book” is finally at the printers.
With my friend and colleague Cindy Kohtala, and a surprising number of wonderful people with writing, photography and other skills and resources to offer the joint effort, we have put together a book to celebrate our home town, Helsinki.
Well, not just celebrate. What inspired us to produce it was our sense that like so many other cities, Helsinki is not necessarily being built as well as it could be. So we invited people who work professionally on caring for or changing the city, to write about it. We also invited British architecture critic Jonathan Glancey, who knows Helsinki well and clearly loves it, to share his thoughts on the changes. His melancholy text still put a lump in my throat when I read the final proofs.
This is my first foray into producing a book for the general audience – previous efforts have been directed at academics and professional audiences, so I am curious and a little apprehensive about how it will be received.
Fortunately, Cindy and I were lucky to find a fabulous graphic designer, Matti Berg, to do the fiddly but extremely important work of compiling a book that includes not just written text but generous illustrations of many kinds. Add to that challenge, there is also the fact that the book is in three languages throughout: Finnish, Swedish and English, something that the publishers Nemokustannus were not so keen on at first (they presumably knew what a hassle it was having done one before, Suomen Majakat).
There will be a number of opportunities to join us to discuss the book. First, in English/maybe Finnish, with author and architect Pia Ilonen, at Arkadia International Bookshop (Nervanderinkatu 11) on 28.10.2015 at 18:00. I will lead a discussion with authors/architects Tarja Nurmi and Hella Hernberg at the Helsinki Book Fair on Sunday 25.10.2015 at 14:00 (in Finnish). The book will be available at Nemo’s stand too, if you would like to come and get it (stand 6e91).