In what kind of culture do we want to live in? What norms and behaviour do we want to encourage? How do we drive social responsibility and progressive institutional transformations instead of the current fear-driven democracy? How do we support and connect different personalities and cultures? We talk a lot about technical innovation but how do we innovate culture?

Business has a huge role in culture creation. Let’s imagine any city without fashion stores, architecture firms, cafes and bakeries, craft shops and bookstores. All these entrepreneurs help to make their world special. Without companies who promote their personal culture, the world would look the same, globally.

Public services, also, use designed products and services. How do hospitals, education and transport work? In what kind of spaces and with what tools?

On a personal level, how are traditions and rituals born or held? How and what do you celebrate? How do you keep history and traditions alive in a modern way? How do you keep them alive if you live abroad? How do you support and enjoy different cultures and build your own? How are we allowed to dress, walk and talk?

Nationalism is an extremely hot topic today, despite approximately 49 % of people identifying themselves as global citizens. As we create more and more common global aesthetics, the cultural perspective is a bit lost. But to build a healthy nation, maybe we need to highlight our differences in a modern context. Food is a great example about how culture is used as a bridge. We eat Nordic porridge for breakfast, sushi for lunch and tacos for dinner.

Smart business and smart design reveals the inner beauty of persons, places and businesses and helps to enrich the world with culture despite limitations, history and politics.


Photo credits:  CC BY 4.0 N210947, Helsinki City museum, 13.12.1962 Photographer Bonin Volker von

Drop a line if you want to know more about Nordic design approach

Scroll to Top