Design world puts spotlight on Finnair and Helsinki in 2012

  Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen
  Finnair’s new uniform
  Finnair’s new uniform

As Helsinki gears up for its tenure as World Design Capital in 2012, leading lights from the worlds of art and business are turning their attention to Finnair and Finland’s unique design heritage. “With 10 destinations in Asia and more than 60 direct connections with the rest of Europe, for many Design Capital visitors their initial flight to Helsinki with Finnair will be their first experience of Finnish design,” says Jarkko Konttinen, Finnair’s Vice President of Brand & Marketing. “We look forward to giving them a great first impression. Helsinki really is emerging as a nexus of creativity and cultural exchange, at the heart of a New Silk Road between East and West that Finnair is proud to help build.”

Finnair has been a cornerstone of Finland’s design heritage since the company’s founding in 1923, integrating design principles and the work of top Finnish designers in its cabin environment and service identity. Finnair’s latest renewal of its visual look and service culture is in keeping with its progressive yet timeless tradition of customer-focused design.

New uniforms for cabin personnel, created by renowned clothing, jewelry and home designer Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen, will be coming into everyday use on all Finnair aircraft starting December 2011. “It is a great privilege to be able to provide my own expertise to this uniform renewal,” Pohjalainen says. “The most important thing is to observe the needs and functionality of the uniform while not forgetting the visual image.” The uniforms fulfill rigorous ergonomic and safety requirements while also expressing a uniquely fresh and Nordic identity.

Finnair has also begun renewing its overall service design in a process led by Kati Lehesmaa, VP of Customer Experience Design. Lehesmaa, a former cabin attendant herself, is managing a long-term shift in service culture called Peace of Mind. Her team started by mapping the entirety of the consumer aviation experience and identifying customers’ most crucial encounters with staff. “The work involves a lot of collaborative feedback from customers, employees and partners in order to create something new,” Lehesmaa explains. “Thinking about service from a design point of view enables us to put a quality, human experience first over mere process.”

The World Design Capital is a project by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life. Helsinki’s Design Capital year will feature design-oriented events and experiences programmed both for local citizens and international visitors, intended to stimulate further discussion and awareness of the social role of design in everyday life. Turin, Italy (2008) and Seoul, Korea (2010) are the previous design capitals.

Source = Finnair
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