The Lahti region is one of the most significant clusters of design expertise in Finland. Throughout the years, the businesses operating in the region have strengthened their competitiveness and expanded their operations to the international market by making use of design and the local design expertise.
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In the Lahti region, design is in the genes.
Design is practical in the Lahti region. It is used to create not only products with an impressive visual look but also more user-friendly products and services, more environmentally friendly and efficient production processes, more functional public services, and comfortable living environments. These in turn create growth and new jobs.
There are several businesses operating in the Lahti region that have boosted their growth and success by means of design and also achieved international success, such as Isku, Kemppi, Luhta, Stala, Gymstick, Karlux, Tapio Anttila Design, Insofa (best-known for its Asko furniture), Pedro, Puulon, Eimi Kaluste, and Salkapuu.
Institute of Design and Fine Arts – top education in design
The internationally well-known Institute of Design and Fine Arts of LAB University of Applied Sciences produces furniture designers, industrial designers and visual artists as well as professionals in wearable design, service design and visual communication.
Students of the Institute of Design and Fine Arts engage in close and practical cooperation with businesses through various design and development projects, among other things.
Professionals who have graduated from the Institute of Design and Fine Arts have also been hired for many notable positions in the international design industry. The alumni of the Institute of Design and Fine Arts include designer Harri Koskinen, illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi, fashion designer Katri Niskanen, vehicle designer Jarno Lehtinen and photographer Heli Rekula, among others.
Design Lahti FIND – hundreds of design entrepreneurs
The Lahti region is home to almost 200 small design service businesses and sole proprietors, whose combined expertise covers all areas of design.
The Design Lahti FIND service search page (in Finnish) is an easy way to find professionals in different areas of design in the Lahti region to help your business or partner with you for product development projects, business digitalisation, brand building and communication.
The service is free of charge for all users:
• Design businesses operating in the Lahti region can promote their services
• Businesses and organisations can find local experts and partners
Design Foundation – research, education and development
The Lahti-based Design Foundation Finland promotes and supports scientific research, education and development in the field of design, distributes grants and financial aid, maintains the Lahti Art & Design Centre and carries out research and development activities related to design.
The Design Foundation partners with universities, universities of applied sciences, design operators and the private sector. The scope of the Design Foundation’s operations covers all of Finland, and its premises are located at Lahti Science Park.
Businesses can implement design projects through the Design Foundation, which also helps businesses by providing useful information on the use of design.
Co-working spaces and office communities
- The Lahti region has an abundance of communal facilities and office clusters of different types that are perfect for design businesses.
- Do you have a startup idea or startup business? Read more about Starthub, a startup centre located on the Mukkula campus in Lahti!
Businesses of interest
Alongside large, well-known businesses and brands, the Lahti region is also home to numerous other interesting businesses that stand out with their design expertise.
Some examples of these include MariMari and Cocoon, which manufacture their clothing lines in Lahti, and Marjut Uotila’s Dusty clothing brand.
Local businesses that design and manufacture furniture and interior design products include Puine, Muoto2, Upwood Design, Eimi Kaluste, Puulon and Evävaara Design, among others. Karlux and Keraplast are examples of local businesses that design and manufacture lamps.
Among the best-known local jewellery designers are Chao & Eero (photo) and Heli Kauhanen, who have received many awards.
Photo: Stala Oy, StaTex Grid