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The Finnish Design Management Association FDMA was founded in 01/2010 by 21 members from various industries and research. Today the members represent more than forty companies from heavy industry and high technology till service providers and manufacturing companies. Depending on the area of operations and strategy of the company, design is contained within different areas of operations. FDMA is linking the companies’ design managers and design leaders, in-house designers and relevant.

Managing Complexity

As the areas of use of design become broader, the multifaceted nature of challenges is emphasized. The teams that unpack these challenges are also multidisciplinary and creative in many ways. Design management guides this multidisciplinary group to find creative solutions to problems.

Design skills are a creative part of R&D processes and important through the whole development in commu- nicating process value till the end product. Some companies purchase services from consults, others create an internal team, and for some, it has taken root in different subsections of the company. In best cases design management means also design leadership.

“Benchmarking with colleagues brings out fresh ideas, new motivation and possibilities.”

Anna-Kaisa Huttunen, VP Design Manager, Lindström

Design is a Connector

FDMA is creates both contacts for workshops and connections to the latest research of design and business, e.g. IDBM program and Design Factory at Aalto University.

FDMA is developing a mentoring program for colleagues and companies in front new challenges. There are also members willing to share their know-how in different design board activities.

“FDMA is an important interaction platform between professional design managers and universities.”

Markku Salimäki, Professor, Aalto University, IDBM program

Optimizing from Skillset to Mindset

The purpose of FDMA’s activities is to enforce the strategic know-how of design in the business context and the use of design and research in innovation processes.

FDMA meetings offer insights to ongoing design processes several times per year. For companies and their design managers this enlarges the professional mindset about different businesses in a common environment. The network follows the latest topics challenging companies in different areas.

“FDMA enables discussion and support between design leaders and design managers, who are often representing minority in their companies.”

Petteri Venetjoki, Design Manager, Metso

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The Fennia Prize 2014 Grand Prix to Ponsse, Scorpion forest harvester

These Fennia Prize awarded companies are great examples of use of design connected to team work and business know-how; The Kupu smoke alarm by Jalo Helsinki, the Nokia Lumia cellphone family, the Peruste company’s RePack postage packaging with a deposit, and Wärtsilä’s new generation of four-stroke engines. The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland’s award of the IPR Excellence mention and a prize for commendable use of immaterial rights go to Polar Electro for its Polar Loop activity tracker bracelet.

Honorary mentions: Finnair Plc and Marimekko Corporation, Fiskars Garden Oy Ab, Innojok Oy, Kemppi Oy, KONE Plc, Konecranes Plc, Magisso Oy, Metso, Metso Paper Oy / Valmet, Metsä Group, One Nordic Furniture Company, Paakkola Conveyers, Pinjasto Oy / Saari-keittiöt, Planmeca Oy, Polar Electro Oy, Puustelli Group Oy, Vivero Oy, VR Group and Transtech Oy and YTA Oy.


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Sirpa Fourastie
Finnish Design Management Association FDMA
tel + 358 50 307 91 17

FDMA in Facebook offers an open platform to share interest in design, 
in LinkedIn the FDMA group is for in-house design managers or in corresponding positions.

The Board

Kalevi Ekman, kalevi.ekman(at)aalto.fi
Anna-Kaisa Huttunen, anna-kaisa.huttunen(at)lindstrom.fi
Harri Kiljander, harri.kiljander(at)f-secure.com
Marjukka Mäkelä, marjukka.makela(at)fi.abb.com
Timo Tiainen, Chairman, timo.tiainen(at)kone.com
Kero Uusitalo, kero.uusitalo(at)rocla.com


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