Interdesign Finland 1982

Production Problems of the Northern Cap, Nordkalotten Rovaniemi (Finland)

9-22 August 1982

The Interdesign in Nordkalotten was coordinated by NORDFORM. At the time, the area of Nord Cap experienced one-sided production based mainly around raw materials, unemployment resulting in highly trained individuals seeking work elsewhere, destruction of the natural environment, and the livelihood of the culture of the national minority (Lapps) had been destroyed.


The theme of this Interdesign, ‘Production Problems of the Northern Cap’, addressed the issue of how to promote small and medium-sized businesses and handicrafts production in the extreme north of Scandinavia by means of good design and product planning. A particularly important aim was to increase labour-intensive production so as to ease unemployment.

Over forty designers from fourteen countries took part. Participants were divided into eight groups and were assigned projects accordingly.


Each team was assigned to a particular project and business that was in need of reinventing or improving its processes. For instance, the Carpentry Project I worked with a Finnish furniture factory, Lappinus, which did not have its own production but was still at the initiation state by starting its production elsewhere. The Interdesign working group provided Lapinus with an image for furniture design, possible usages of waste material, and planning of production.

Carpentry Project II worked with a company that wanted new products because current production was outdated and greatly plagiarised by others, therefore the working group provided them with module prototypes which were later transported to the University of Lapland for testing.

Other projects included Engineering Shop, Handicraft/Textiles, Fur, Stone, and Packing, all of which were analysed individually by their respective groups.