The City of Helsinki, in association with the Finnish Association of Industrial Art Ornamo, organized a furniture design competition for Central Park in 2001 with the aim of finding a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing series of furniture for the park. The furniture had to be adapted to all the scenic environments of the Central Park and to the needs of a wide range of users. A total of 51 entries were submitted.
The first prize went to Mari Piipponen, who studied industrial design in Rovaniemi, for her work “Blokko”. Second was the “Design Arc” designed by industrial designer Juhana Karhu and the Design Reform team. The organizers of the competition decided to combine the best features of the two proposals under the leadership of Design Reform. The prototype was installed in Pirkkola for users to test in summer 2004. Based on feedback from the public, the furniture was finalized. The following summer, visitors to Central Park enjoyed new sports equipment, table and bench groups, canopies and signage.