World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki: Kauko installation

January 11th, 2012, Latest work

Helsinki has been elected ‘World Design Capital‘ of 2012 and invited Hasan & Partners and Perfect Fools to help spread the word and raise awareness around the importance of design. Design is all around us; the chair you sit on, the lighting in your room and the height of your screen relative to your eyes. To enable the public to explore the relationship between good and bad design, how about letting them control these design aspects, to find out work works and what doesn’t?

This idea came to life – literally – with the interactive popup café Kauko, built by GP UdstillningsDesign. A seemingly normal café serving normal coffee, but with an important twist – its furniture, service and atmosphere can be remotely controlled via a website in real time. (Kauko is Finnish for “remote control”.)

For the coming weeks Kauko will be located in Helsinki’s biggest mall Forum, before moving on to the next location. If you’re around, make sure to stop by for a cup of coffee (and don’t be surprised if you like Alice suddenly find the table far down below you!)

Would you rather control the café yourself? Head to and create some good or bad design for the visitors – your pick!