Helsinki is this year's World Design Capital, the third city to hold the title since the initiative was launched in 2008.
Helsinki's concept for 2012 - Embedded Design - ties in with the idea of Helsinki being an open city. Organisers say this can be achieved by transparency, curiosity, global responsibility and innovation.
Throughout 2012 some 300 events, exhibitions, projects and initiatives are set take place to help examine ways that design can be embedded into everyday life. That said, organisers stress that the year is not just about the show and spectacle and that they hope their work will have long-term positive impacts on the city's urban life.
The design year kicked off with spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations on the city's Senate Square, where In Praise of Helsinki, a 3D video installation, was projected on to the cathedral.
Also involved in the year of design events are other cities near Helsinki - Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. Beyond this, events will take place around the country too. The world's most northern design weekl will be in the arctic town of Rovaniemi, from 17 to 26 February.
Helsinki's own design week from 6 to 16 September aims to be a catalyst for urban change through the work of local and international artists.
Two key elements of Finnish culture - sauna and silence - will also be celebrated with the help of design. In addition to new public saunas being created, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence will open this spring in the capital. The idea behind the chapel is to offer people a quiet retreat from the bustling city life around them.
For all the other events and projects taking place throughout the year, check the World Design Capital's programme.
The biennial World Design Capital was launched in 2008 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), which unites the international community of industrial design. The Design Capital title was created to acknowledge the achievements of cities that are using design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic aspects of their environment. Previous design capitals have been Torino, Italy (2008) and Seoul, South Korea (2010).