Arctic Design_black_EN

Arctic Design Cluster, University of Lapland
Arktinen muotoiluklusteri, Lapin yliopisto

Finland: North and East Finland
Satu Miettinen


100% completed

About us

The main purpose of the Arctic Design Cluster is to make local businesses, products and services nationally and internationally competitive by utilising the knowledge from research, art and design specialisation. The cluster brings together expertise on arctic conditions, culture and knowledge on materials and aspires to resolve the challenges of sparsely populated area. At the heart of the cluster is Arcta Arctic Design Centre where the businesses, science and art meet.

The Arctic Design Centre of Expertise, created by the faculty of art at the University of Lapland, promotes cooperation between the local businesses, educational institutions, the city of Rovaniemi and regional development organisations. At the centre of expertise small design enterprises can create and test their prototypes with the new technologies developed by the university and get access to the exhibition spaces. The Arctic Design Centre can boost the innovation of new products and re-design of mature ones.

The Arctic Design Cluster has a vision to become a world leader in artic design research by 2020. The goal of this research is a deep understanding of the arctic environment, everyday life, minority cultures and heritage. Furthermore, the research aims at making the arctic environment more visible in the choices of materials and type of the design. At the end, research problems are becoming more complex and more holistic view of different research disciplines is needed. The multi-disciplinary research team can utilise the design research in an all-rounded manner.

The Arctic Design Cluster aims at being part of at least 15 potential synergy and collaboration projects by the year 2020. Leaders of the next cluster projects shall be global enterprises surrounded by consortiums with high level researchers and businesses. Attractiveness for business involvement rises from the bright ideas, high quality research and other companies with investment capabilities.

The backbone of the cluster is formed by the research of arctic designing including: service design, product design, interaction design and applied visual arts.

Service design develops new service concepts, expands expertise and supply quality of services in close cooperation with local, national and international businesses and the public sector. Service design produces award-winning and internationally esteemed research, as well as creative activities and service concepts of a high quality.

Product design innovates international cutting-edge products that are individualised and ready for production. Product design utilises 3D models and physical prototypes of high quality conveying the design vision and expertise. Product design prototypes enable the testing and development of new product ideas, evaluation of the products by consumers and communicating the innovations to larger audiences.

Interaction design creates practical and innovative interfaces for physical and digital products, product concepts and services. It combines international cutting edge research, participatory methods and design expertise from different fields.

Applied visual arts combines participatory environmental art to service design in ways that are culturally sensitive, attractive for tourists and take into account expertise in Arctic conditions.

Formalised strategy
Strategy focus on internationalisation
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Competence development
  • Hiring of specialists

Cluster composition

  • 150
    Cluster Members
  • 50
  • 9
    Large Companies
  • 64
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 27
    Other Ecosystem Actors


Lapland is the leading arctic area in utilising arctic resources and knowhow in a sustainable way

Lapland is the northernmost part of Finland and of the entire European Union. At the same time, Lapland is geographically the most international region of Finland as we are located in the middle of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. 

Lapland’s strong growth sectors form the basis, but we also want to highlight Arctic expertise and new potential for growth. The key principle of Lapland’s smart specialisation is to integrate interregional and EU level networking as natural part of all our development activities. We see, that for the economy to grow the regional business have to be part of the European industrial value chains. Therefore, the foundation for each ounce of success consists of strong networking and co-operation between enterprises as well as developers. To support this, we have updated our S3 – Lapland an Arctic and international highflier – to be International Smart Specialisation Strategy. 

Sustainable development is the foundation of growth in Lapland. The refining of natural resources and conditions is the backbone of Lapland’s economy. Therefore maintaining the balance of sustainable development is at the core of regional development. This has been the case already in Lapland’s first S3 that was published in 2013. In addition to the efficient and smart use of resources, regional cooperation models are the basis for sustainable development. 

In Lapland, Arctic Smartness concept is the leading initiative for implementing Smart Specialisation. The implementation of Arctic Smartness is based on regional cooperation, and it works like an ecosystem, where the actors share common goals to develop Lapland. The six Arctic Smartness Clusters act as engines for the regional development. Through clusters, Lapland is looking beyond the boundaries of traditional ways of doing things to get the best use of the regional expertise and strategic partnerships over the borders. All of the six clusters are implementing new local and European initiatives and projects creating a breeding ground for sustainable growth in the regional economy. 

More information about Arctic Smartness

Management team

Satu Miettinen
Cluster Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral Industries
Information and communication:J59 Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities - Professional, scientific and technical activities:M72 Scientific research and development - Arts, entertainment and recreation:R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
Technology fields
A\: Human necessities:Wearing apparel - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Decorative arts - Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Y04 - Information or communication technologies having an impact on other technology areas
S3 EU priority areas
Service innovation:New or improved service processes
Cross-sectoral industries
Creative Industries

Key members

Profile name Location
University of Lapland



Support services provided

Advisory Services
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Support of Research, Development and Innovation

Further information

Arctic Design seeks to increase the wellbeing and economic competitiveness of arctic areas. Arctic Design combines art, design and research in order solve challenges in the sparsely populated areas. Understanding arctic environment, everyday life, internationality and indigenous cultures is in the core of Arctic Design.

Businesses, science and art come together Design intersects industries and services that is at the heart of the Arctic design cluster. This results in solution-oriented innovations that stem from Arctic expertise.   Lapland has been profiled as having special expertise in the field of design for years already. Design is an inter-sectional activity and affects companies and communities on many levels.

Support training services for cluster managers/policy makers

Support of knowledge sharing - Connecting to other organisations in the regional ecosystem

Upskilling and reskilling expertise

Marketing/ branding - EU project development - IPR

Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Competence development - Hiring of specialists

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes
H2020 INTERREG Other

Name & description

The several regional and national Funded projects for instance:

- Business Finland – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation project/Arctic weather and nature phenomenon innovation via digitalization

- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF)

- Arctic Design product and service innovation environment

Project name

RegionArts: Enhancing SME growth by the integration of Artists in ICT projects

DecoChrom: Elevating printed graphics products to the age of interactivity, and empowering the creative industries with the tools and innovative advanced material sets

LEADBEHA: Leadership as a trigger for behavioral change when creating AI cultures in companies and organisations

SmartCulTour: Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions 

AMASS: Acting on the Margin – Arts as Social Sculpture

SEEYouth: Social Innovation through Participatory Art and Design with Youth at the Margins: Solutions for Engaging and Empowering Youth with Trans-Atlantic Mirroring

PARTY: Participatory tools for Human Development with the Youth

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries


Transnational support activites

Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs

International support activites

Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs

Further information

Participating the European Union matchmaking cluster events and co-operating the local regions in Europe.

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Latest news and documents

News Published: 23.04.2021
Start-ups networking and cooperating with the University of Lapland