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Futurice Design Day 2018 — Rethink/Refresh

In a few weeks the Futurice design community come together in Stockholm for Design Day 2018.

This year we gather under the theme of Refresh/Rethink. Fittingly, as reimagining and challenging ourselves and our clients is a large part of what we do. More so than ever before.

The meaning of design in digital services has long ago passed a tipping point. For one, design is no longer exclusively about digital or the visible – but that’s not news. What is a bit on the newish side is a need for a different type of projects from our clients around the world.

The most forward-looking have always kept pace with us (or even outdone us at times). Now even the more careful companies we meet are looking beyond immediate time horizons.

“Who within Futurice’s team can we introduce our city planning specialist to?”

“What is your view on the North American approach to AI compared with the one our Asian subsidiaries are investing in?”

“How do we embrace the educational value of humanoid robots?”

It is no surprise these business critical questions are being posed to our designers. The deep insights we get in to organisations of all shapes and sizes and their customers can rarely be matched. We have the immersion required for good UX design to thank for starting this some years ago, and Service Design having evolved on it. And now we are already on to the next step; impact on a level that goes far beyond areas traditionally touched by design. To quote one of our colleagues, Teemu Moisala, incoming CEO of Futurice Group:

“We now work in more areas, and measure impact on a much higher level, for our clients than ever before. This is in many ways tied to our clients following our lead in moving from single services to broader concepts like wanting to understand what role they can and can’t play in their industries ecosystem, or rethinking their view on talent and impact. For us as Futurice this means our very human centered approach to design is also looking far beyond expected norms in terms of output, perceived truths and ways of working to serve our clients.”

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Where do we go next to keep delivering on our part of this equation?

Our Design Day 2018 speaker lineup provides a hint:

Nafisa Bakkar is Co-founder of Amaliah, dedicated to representing Muslim women in shaping thought and acting as a tool for cultural change.

Justin Dauer, author of the highly celebrated Cultivating a Creative Culture book and Vice President of Design at bswift.

Steve Belgrave is an award winning sound designer and creative audio director. His collaborators include U2, Noel Gallagher’s Beady Eye, the BBC, DreamWorks, Sennheiser and Huawei.

A fourth speaker will be announced soon. Already the line up is not the usual fare for a Design Day. How could it be? Design is no longer purely screen based, nor a contained activity. Nor does it know borders, whether geographical or cultural (with 40+ nationalities neither does our own company). AI, spatial exploration, fabrics and sound are natural work components, currently for a few and soon for most of us. And, our venue for Design Day is the office of an architectural agency.

Futurice Design Day thus is less of a milestone and more of a natural state of being for designers in 2018.

We did however fail in one regard. Design is about inclusion, about embracing openness and collaboration beyond competencies and skills. That’s what makes it so sad that our plan of inviting many of our non-designer colleagues to the event didn’t work out. Thanks to the trust our clients place in us our design community has simply grown so quickly and with such vigour (approaching 100 professionals) that we had to postpone our broader invite list until 2019.

And what a DesignDay that will be. Firstly there’s... Actually, let’s enjoy this years get-together first. It will be great. A bit unusual. Maybe a tad imperfect. Exciting. Unexpected. Shared. About us. About how we view design. About how we live and breathe design to benefit our clients, and their audiences.

See you soon. Vi ses snart.

/Jaan Orvet – Global Head of Design and Co-organiser together with Alex Crowfoot, Annika Sundqvist, Emma-Leena Heikkinen, Johannes Stock, Lauri Virkkunen, Markus Berg and Valentin Loschinin. With special thanks to Kate Pashinova, Cecilia Lövström, Minna Mustakallio and Jouni Kaplas


  • Portrait of Jaan Orvet
    Jaan Orvet
    Global Head of Design