Jens von Larcher, a journalist with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, said he was impressed by Finland's down-to-earth take on design.
"In Germany when you talk about design, it's about stuff for wealthy people who can buy expensive things. In Finland design is more a part of daily life than in Germany," he said.
Reporters are mainly interested in the big names in Finnish architecture, Alvar Aalto and the golden age of Finnish design of the 1950s and 60s. The newly constructed wooden Chapel of Silence in downtown Helsinki has also been a point of interest. But so has Futuro, a plastic spaceship-like house built in the late 1960s.
"It certainly is a novelty, but I don't think that's purely the basis for the interest in it [Futuro]. I think we're always looking at alternative housing whether it's green architecture or even historical structures like Futuro," explained Los Angeles-based journalist Jeffrey Head.
Most of the design year coverage has been predictable, but there have been some surprises. Artistic headstones at Helsinki's Hietaniemi Cemetery have been an unlikely source of inspiration.
"I see the gravestones as kind of an extension of Finnish design. It's one more aspect of design to the end -- design to the death," Head told Yle.
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