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The Helsinki Effect: Public Alternatives to the Guggenheim Model of Culture-Driven Development


The Helsinki Effect: Public Alternatives to the Guggenheim Model of Culture-Driven Development

20.00 35.00

Editors: Terike Haapoja, Andrew Ross, and Michael Sorkin

Contributors: Miguel Robles-Durán; Terike Haapoja; Juhani Pallasmaa; Andrew Ross; Michael Sorkin; Kaarin Taipale; Mabel Wilson; Sharon Zukin

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Helsinki is the chosen site for the Guggenheim Museum’s latest effort to replicate the much-contested “Bilbao Effect.” Advocates of better methods for fusing the arts and urbanism combined to launch an alternative design competition in 2015. The Next Helsinki helped to amplify a public debate about the role of culture in civic health and economic development that has consequences far beyond the Finnish case-study.

In addition to cataloging the hundreds of entries from dozens of countries, this volume includes essays by leading urbanists, artists, and architects about the significance of the competition and the principles that inspired it.

"Responding to a competition for the design of a new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, the authors contributing to this volume deconstruct the values underlying use of the arts to promote economic competitiveness. The uniqueness of this edited book lies in its focus on the commodification of artistic achievement and the ensuing failure to foster local creativity. In investigating the impact of brand-name institutions on construction labor, art markets, and city life, it is an important addition to the critical urban studies literature." --- Susan S. Fainstein, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design

"The Next Helsinki showed that there is great potential for imagining a lively, attractive city that grows out of the unique culture of the region. The Helsinki Effect opens a needed view to global conversations in city planning and art. Recommended reading for everybody interested in art, Helsinki, or both! --- Ilona Anhava, gallerist, Gallery Anhava, Helsinki

"At a moment when the neoliberal politics and economics of urban development continue uninterrupted, expanding social inequality and cultural exclusion, The Helsinki Effect is an urgent call for a new public imagination. This book challenges the widespread belief that privatizing public resources and urban sites is the only pathway to economic progress; and it insists that the internationalization of cultural management must be contested in order to re-invent the contemporary art museum in the 21st century.  More than ever, mega-cultural institutions should be responsible for connecting international art economies with local cultural productivity, mediating top-down and bottom-up urban dynamics, and stimulating alternative strategies for constructing more just and inclusive cities." -- Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, University of California, San Diego, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman


"Through the 'Bilbao Effect,' art becomes a luxury commodity, the museum becomes an exclusionary enclave of private enjoyment, and the city becomes a speculative playground for global capital, embellished through architectural extravagance.  This book reports on recent struggles among artists, architects, urbanists and activists in Helsinki and beyond to counteract the use of culture as a means of privatizing and enclosing urban life.  Against the ultra-luxury, corporate-elite fantasies of Guggenheim Helsinki, the counter-proposals for The Next Helsinki documented here reflect not only a more inclusionary, radically democratic approach to the role of art in public life.  They also chart out alternatives to the neoliberal city, based on the vision of the urban as a commons—produced, shared, appropriated and transformed by all." --- Neil Brenner, Professor of Urban Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


212 pages, full color, softcover, 8" x 11", ISBN 978-0-9960041-9-0, printed in the United States, 2016.


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