While not a museum or archive, a shop in the design district of Helsinki proved as important a source of information as many of the large institutions.

Lokal, a new concept by photographer Katja Hagelstam, combines art, design and coffee in a relaxed home-like environment. The themed exhibitions, which focus mainly on contemporary finnish art, design and handicraft change monthly. Carefully chosen vintage furniture, books, kitchenware - all for sale! The gallery also has a tiny coffee shop.

Katja was welcoming and supportive of our efforts, and suggested several people and places to augment our plans. A serendipitous stop to say good-bye resulted in an introduction to the Design Director for Artek, who just happened to be in the shop.

Katja wrote a great book covering interdisciplinary Finnish designers, inspired by the 2012 World Design Capitol, Helsinki. Limited copies available in English, directly from the author, most likely. But you might find a copy in a local library, if you are lucky: 20+12; Design Stories from Helsinki