User Inspired Design 2016

The User Inspired Design 2016 course invited students to design a proposal for a social innovation that addresses sustainable well-being taking a human-centred and collaborative design approach. Students were encouraged to act as explorers, activists, innovators and place-makers; to seek out budding local social inventions for sustainable well-being, and to utilise human-centred and collaborative design skills and intelligences to grow, multiply, activate, and sustain these processes of social change. Next to the project-based work, student wrote critical essays adressing the question: “What do I mean when I say “human-centred”?

Also see the report on the UID conference 2016.


Authors: Tito Williams II, Maija Mäenpää & Mengxiao Li
Helsinki’s public playgrounds are a diamond mine of opportunity. Over the 6 week course, we would develop Co-Playgrounds: Not just for Kids, a playground concept that promotes collaborative play between adults and children on playgrounds. The Co-Playground creates more opportunity for play between parent and children because playgrounds are not just for kids.


Authors: Jinny Hye Kim, Jang Bae Lee, Tilda Jyräsalo & Miro Virta
People often say “Helsinki bus drivers are grumpy”. This is a generalized stereotype with negative connotations. We believe the experience of riding a bus should not add more stress to our everyday lives. If a small moment of happiness can be achieved in a bus, it can even release some of other stress from life. We started with a belief that bus drivers have the power to make everyone’s day better and easier.

How do you do Helsinki

Authors: Marjo Koivisto, Sara Gottschalk, Antti Ruuhijärvi, Yuze Wang
Thinking about social innovation, we came up with the following question: How can the people of Helsinki be empowered during their everyday routine, to creatively express themselves and their ideas to create a more social and participative urban environment? The final concept, the How do you do Helsinki wall installation, is a platform for people to share their thoughts and some of their secrets to each other in an anonymous way. Seeing into other people’s thoughts, concerns, personal lives and dreams gives passers-by a glimpse “under the hood” of Helsinki, which will foster the sense of emotional connection people have with the city in general.