Participatory design for built environment

We believe cities and buildings should be built for – and with – their users. Bringing citizens, entrepreneurs and different active groups to the core of a design or development project is essential for the rise of creativity and vitality and the sense of openness in a city. It is key to developing desirable and sustainable urban plans, buildings or services that serve their users’ needs.

For us, design means facilitating change to achieve the desired outcome. We apply human-centered design methods to a project from early stages on, be it an urban plan, a public service, a building project or a legislation process. Qualitative research helps understand users and stakeholders; co-design workshops to ideate with people. We use experiments and prototypes as a quick and efficient, light-risk way to test assumptions and ideas before spending too much resources in planning and preparing the wrong project.

Integrating stakeholders to your project from the very beginning adds important value. It creates a mutual understanding and ownership between stakeholders, allows innovation, prevents potential contradictions and complaints – and most importantly, results in a desirable, well-functioning service or product that serves its purpose.


Above are some examples of projects where we have got our hands in the mud to work together with stakeholders. These projects were done with the following clients: City of Espoo, Sitra, Ministry of the Environment, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Aalto University and City of Helsinki. (Click on the images for more details)