- Finland celebrated Design Year in 2005. At the same time, international surveys reported that Finland is one of the world’s most competitive countries, that it has the world’s best education system, and that Greater Helsinki is one of the world’s most creative cities.
- The top 25 economies in the world ranked by competitiveness by World Economic Forum are also the most efficient users of design. Finland ranks highest both in competitiveness and in design. It is followed by the U.S., number two in both respects.
- the researches explain Finland’s – as well as other Scandinavian countries’ – high ranking in competitiveness by its focus on technology. It is also typical for these countries that design policies are funded mainly by the government and the policies cover the entire nations. The studies also stress the importance of continuous development in the field of design, the importance of finding new business areas and developing business models for design.
- success comes from reputation. A reputation generates trust, which in turn contributes success in business. Although the myth of Finnish design is history, its reputation has been joined by a new factor that supports it: high technology.
- Apart from economy, design is important also in cultural terms. Its cultural significance is in creating a national and individual identity. Design is also a part of the memory and history.
-the concept of ‘Finnish design’ has itself become a national symbol – practically a synonym for an entire historical period dominated by iconic Finnish accomplishments; post –war reconstruction and the development of a Nordic welfare state. In broader perspective, Finland is known around the world for a handful of things: Alvar Aalto, Jean Sibelius, Finnish design and nowadays also Nokia.
- in global competition, images, stories, myths and reputation have their place. They all contribute to a strong image of capability and long tradition. They also reflect originality and uniqueness.
-In recent years there has been a growing interest and investment in design among Turkish companies. Founding of the Turkish Design Council recently and the Turkish Exporters Assembly’s leading role in that process, is one of the examples of the growing importance that Turkish business circles pay to the product design.
- importance of the cooperation and dialogue between Istanbul Technical University and University of Industrial Arts Helsinki. Erasmus agreement between the universities has been signed in 2005.
I would like to thank Prof. Erkin Nasuf and Prof. Cengiz Giritlioglu and Istanbul Technical University for hosting the seminar.
Prof. Alpay Er and his team in Istanbul Technical University, the Industrial Design Department for organizing the seminar
Icon magazine and Nokia for sponsoring
Mr. Sertac Ersayin from the Industrial Design Association, Mr. Oguz Satici from the Turkish Exporters Assembly and University of Industrial Arts Helsinki for cooperation