1987: The founding of Design Forum

Design Forum was founded in 1987 to promote industrial design. Design Forum was a joint project of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, industry companies and Ornamo Art and Design Finland.

For years, Finnish industry had demanded that industrial products and design be more strongly brought to the forefront and that industrial products should have a permanent exhibition space in Greater Helsinki. The role models of Design Forum were the design forums operating in several other countries, such as Design Council in London and the corresponding institutes in Denmark, Sweden and Japan.

Design Forum’s duty was to be an information centre serving industry, business life, designers, media and the public. Its forms of activity were exhibitions, launch parties of new products, communications, and creating the so-called design registry.

Design Forum operated in Vientitalo, at Etelä-Esplanadi 8.  In 1990, Design Forum and the company service unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry started the province-specific design representative activity, whose aim was to help SMEs utilise design in their products and business.