Technology and science create countless new discoveries which are often made useful and beautiful with the help of design. Ecological materials, products and processes are an obvious result, but design also has a few other agendas in the domain of sustainable lifestyle.

Redefining luxury. Nordic design is relatively democratic because we come from an environment where society supports you when you fall. Our luxury is freedom, silence, a connection with nature and fresh air. Both, Estonia and Finland are global leaders in education, which gives everyone an equally strong start in life. It leaves a mark on design, too. Traditional luxury is based on marginalization and distancing oneself from the crowd while Nordic design is based on the opposite values of a good life for everyone. It could be a solid classic or a joyful splash of colour, but both are for everyday use. The best thing is that it stays looking fresh and stylish, generation after generation.

The issue of rapid urbanization leads us to the other important task of design – emotional and physical wellbeing. We are part of a natural ecosystem and everything we see, hear, feel and experience, influences us directly. Based on research, regardless of cultural background or age, we prefer the natural environment, if possible. Nature heals and helps us to deal with stress and anxiety. The presence of nature in an urban environment creates a stronger sense of community and lowers crime rates. More research about relationship between nature and us.

The quality of light and air as well as the use of colours and materials is extremely important in a manmade environment.

Sustainability does not concern only the material world, it especially concerns the whole picture, because physically and emotionally balanced people are able to make better decisions, feel secure and free, and become better members of society. Sometimes, it feels like chasing a unicorn, but we can’t give up, can we?


Photo credits: CC BY 4.0 N252031 Helsingin kaupunginmuseo, 1890, photographer unknown

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

Scroll to Top