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Helsinki as a City of Design

Helsinki is a leading City of Design, and design is also one of the key fields in the City's strategy programme.

In 2012, Helsinki was the World Design Capital and two years later Helsinki received the UNESCO City of Design title.

The International Design Foundation's Design Driven City project prolonged the heritage of the design capital year until the end of 2015. In September 2016, the City became the first city in the world to appoint a Chief Design Officer.

The three-year Helsinki Lab project, which was initiated in 2016, makes design know-how, digitality and interaction an even more integral part of the development of the City. Lab also integrates the City organisation and partners to work together in view of creating a better city and new business operations.

Helsinki engages in design-related development activities in three sectors:

  • Design know-how: utilising design in the development of city services
  • Design as an accelerator of corporate growth: utilising design in SMEs in other key branches
  • Design and international co-operation: The Helsinki UNESCO City of Design network and the World Design Weeks network, which is chaired by Helsinki Design Week Director Kari Korkman.

Through joint experiments and utilisation of design methods, open data and digitality, we create services adapted to the needs of the residents and visitors and agile participation and interaction channels.

The changing, functional, contrasty and original Helsinki grows with attitude – One HEL of an Impact!

28.06.2019 09:11

Design education

Support material for design education in the schools of Helsinki

Oodi as textbook case of service design

The development and design of Helsinki Central Library Oodi reflects the evolution of service design thinking within the City of Helsinki.

Design Education Advances Sustainable Development

Helsinki applies design thinking in education and promotes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals