Design for Government

Design For Government (DfG) is an advanced studio course under Aalto University Creative Sustainability Master Programme exploring the potential utility of design in solving complex challenges of the government and public sector with emphases on systems approach, empathic design and behavioral insight.

The course was built to serve the rapidly emerging need to educate designers to work with the public sector. At the backround is the Design Exchange Programme initiated by Sitra, where four designers (Hella of UDM included) were embedded for a year in two municipalities and two ministries.

The course was founded in 2014 by design researcher Seungho Lee, architect Hella Hernberg and service designer Juha Kronqvist, first as a pilot course. In 2014, we worked with the Ministry of Environment with high-level and complex design challenges, and for 2015 we got assignments from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The course has been extremely successful both in terms of student feedback and response from ministries. From 2016 on the course has received a permanent status and continues under leadership of Ramia Mazé, professor in New Frontiers of Design.

DfG is a multidisciplinary course, the students coming from different units of Aalto University (for example, design, business or engineering). Also students of Helsinki University are encouraged to apply.

Read more about the project briefs and results on the DfG website.


  • Client: Aalto University, Creative Sustainability
  • Course founders: Seungho Lee, Hella Hernberg and Juha Kronqvist
  • Professor: Ramia Maze
  • Timeline: from 2014
  • Website: