Pall-Mall:ing in Helsinki

Some errants brought me to the areas around Helsinki’s Vanhankaupunginselkä – you know, that bay reaching all the way to Viiki. I have mentioned these whereabouts on my other blogs a few times (for example here or here); the greenery and nature reserve invites to come and play and frolic around.

There are a two Museokortti museums in the area: Tekniikan museo (Museum of Technology) and Arabia Museum, a part of Design Museum.

I started at the Museum of Technology. I have to mention that it has been around 3 weeks since I visited the museum, and back then I was desperately looking out for signs of spring and sun. And I got them.

The walk from the carpark to the museum is exciting, abundant red brick buildings equal anticipation of a lot of urban fun. Well. These buildings looked interesting, but they are not a part of the museum – in fact they are used by private companies and therefore hidden from our curious eyes…

Some good promises of cultural experience on the way to the museum.


The museum itself is, well, great for school children I suppose. It is one of those places which are trying to encompass everything – everything remotely connected to the word or concept of technology. Naturally the overall experience would at best be fragments of facts rather than some kind of a story. The area is somehow divided in several parts, but their message or storyline is somehow unclear too – and this is where the differences between individual museums in this category appear: some science or technology museums not only have much larger collections but are also able to present coherent messages and provide quality customer experience.

Unfortunately, this museum did not deliver. Despite Finnish technology boom of the past century.

But some individual exhibits were pretty cool, presenting bits and pieces of Finnish industrial pride: Nokia products (no rubber boots or toilet paper though), a functional Kone lift from 1930s (not unlike the one in our house), some old Alko caps and a selection of domestic plastic items.


In this sense, the Museum of Technology is quite interesting for those who are interested in Finnish facts and lifestyle. I mean have YOU seen a single Finnish households without some of the following items? Plastex freezer boxes? That lemon press?



The Arabia Museum promises to provide “a comprehensive overview of the products and the rich history of the Arabia factory”.

You will see a lot of cups and general crockery. And a 2 year old poster inviting to an exhibition which was partly not there.

You will not see too many product line examples from the past years – and no Moomin cups. And you won’t learn that much about the history of the factory, and even so less about technology of production.

And if you are as lucky as me, you won’t be greeted or paid any attention to…



2 thoughts on “Pall-Mall:ing in Helsinki

  1. Okay, I don’t think I’ll race to visit these two museums 😛 A pity, as these could be so much better if developed more!


  2. It is a pity though, I visited Arabia museum about 3 years ago, and it was much better curated, I really enjoyed it. This time though it was like walking through kierratyskeskys, minus the thrill of bargain hunt: lot of porcelain, no clear guideline to follow…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s