Photo: Kalle Kataila

Helsinki Lab – design, digitalization and dialogue

Helsinki Lab is City of Helsinki's developer community whose objective is to ensure that the future planning of Helsinki is characterised by an increasing degree of user orientation. Helsinki Lab is a continuation of the development that takes advantage of service design, which the City initiated in 2005.

Helsinki Lab is a three-year project, which continues until the end of 2018. Its objective is to strengthen the knowledge of the city organisations in building a user and needs oriented city. Lab makes design knowledge, digitality and interaction an increasingly integral part of the development of the city. Lab's objective is to bring together the organisations and cooperation partners of the city to create new business activities as well.

Besides the recruiting of a Chief Design Officer, which will start on 8 May, Lab will employ two design experts. They are professionals in the fields of user and customer understanding, inclusion, development through experimentation, and visuality. In addition to them, there will be 10–15 city experts from different administrative fields participating part-time in Lab work and projects.

The objective is one Helsinki, a city that understands everyday needs

The objective of Helsinki Lab is to look at the city as an entity. Lab participates in preparation, planning and implementation projects that are topical to the city. 

The operations of Lab focus on a few main themes, and projects pertaining to them form the core of the operations. Participating in the projects are actors widely from the city community: Helsinkians, companies, organisations, educational institutes and city employees. Moreover, Lab offers a counselling service for all city organisations on questions related to user orientation and experimentation.

The basic idea of the Lab space is to make the development of the city visible and experienceable. The work is connected to the development of the Helsinki brand. Helsinki Lab will be located in the lobby of the City Hall and open every day of the week starting in September.