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Finland Friday – demystifying the concept of design thinking

November 29, 2017

Design thinking has become a buzzword in many business communities, promoting the methodology as an innovative, new way of thinking. The last Finland Friday of the year concentrated on drilling into practical concepts of design thinking and entrepreneurship through various presenters working in hospitality industry, advertising, services marketing, ICT consulting, event experience planning, and in government organization.


Our first speaker, Evon Söderlund, Founder of Huone Events Hotels shared with the audience the ways she challenged common thoughts and purposes of meeting spaces, when designing the Huone concept. In her planning process Söderlund carefully studied human behavior to understand how to make each meeting room to have its own purpose, and to make meetings fun and productive in Huone. The concept has proved to be a successful. Söderlund revealed their growth plans for the next two years: ten new Huone events hotels will be launched around the world!


 Picture: Evon Söderlund, Founder of Huone Events Hotels, will be opening ten new Huone events hotels within the next two years.


In her presentation Joanne Teh, Senior Assistant Director, Industry Development Office of DesignSingapore Council explained how Design Singapore’s programs help businesses use design as a strategic tool to drive innovation and create value. Mrs Teh presented case studies of how design thinking and understanding the end-users’ needs were applied when designing Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and in OCBC Bank's and Land Transport Authority's projects. 

 Picture: Joanne Teh from DesignSingapore Council presented the projects of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, OCBC Bank and LTA and how design thinking is applied in them.


The afternoon’s dialogue session concentrated on application of design thinking in businesses. We heard thoughts from Evon Söderlund; Tuomas Peltoniemi, President of Asia Digital Arts Network, TBWA; Anna Ratala, Head of Slush Singapore and Trina Teo Regional Head, APAC from Exove. During the lively discussions all panelists seemed to agree that design thinking boils down to common sense and practical problem solving – identifying the problem and solving it, while keeping the client’s and end-users needs in mind! Many of the panelists saw themselves as problem solvers, with important part of the process being eager to test new ideas and analyze feedback from the clients.

 Picture: Anna Ratala from Slush Singapore sharing her thoughts on how to design an event experience.


Professor Kirsti Lindberg-Repo gave a presentation on how Finland became a design nation, and how two years ago, Design Finland 100 project was started to support Finnish companies in entering the Singapore market.


 Picture: Evon Söderlund, ambassador Paula Parviainen and professor Kirsti Lindberg-Repo joined the last Finland Friday of the year to discuss design thinking and entrepreneurship.  


See more pictures from Finland Friday here


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