Design gives shape to environmental goals - Lahti

Design gives shape to environmental goals

There is a wealth of information about the environment available today, but simply presenting facts is not always enough to capture people’s interest and commitment.

Lahti, a city known for its environmental and design achievements, has long adhered to an approach where design and environmental awareness go hand in hand. The aim is to inspire people to notice environmental issues through new and often surprising contexts.

From Viita workstations to pollinator design homes

A good example of the union between design and environmental awareness is the Viita workstations. These remote workstations, located in Lahti’s local nature spots, encourage residents to enjoy the city’s natural and recreational areas. The workstations have gained international attention, and there have been inquiries about creating similar workstations in Sweden. These workstations were created by the Lahti-based Upwood Design, using Finnish spruce as the primary material.

The design competition, organized by the city of Lahti, sought to find new uses for discarded textiles and combine high-quality design with recycled materials. The competition generated widespread interest and demonstrated how waste can be transformed into something new and exciting. The idea was also to change perceptions of discarded textiles and thus promote the circular economy.

The pollinator design homes, designed by Tapio Anttila, aim to inspire home gardeners to host pollinators in their yards, whose nesting and wintering sites have diminished. These homes are part of the Without pollinators we cannot survive campaign. The goal is once again to address people in a new way about the importance of biodiversity.

A city of environmental knowhow and design

Lahti has been a pioneer in environmental issues and received significant recognition when it was named the European Green Capital in 2021. This accolade reflects the city’s long-term efforts for the environment and its role in promoting sustainable development.

The city’s design heritage dates back decades, with deep roots in local industry and education. Lahti’s reputation as a design city began to develop in the early 20th century when it became known for its woodworking industry. Lahti-based companies like Isku and Asko put Finnish furniture design on the world map.

The text has been translated with the assistance of ChatGPT artificial intelligence.

Anu-Liisa Rönkä
The author works at the City of Lahti as the Head of Environmental Communications.