Helsinki was designated the World Design Capital in 2012. The World Design Capital award and designation aims to focus attention on the broader essence of design and its impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens.
Our insight was that the vast majority of people do not fully realize the importance of design in everyday life. Design is everywhere, it affects everyone and everyone can affect it. We wanted to emphasize the important role of design and appeal to a broad audience — even those not interested in design — to start a conversation about design.
We created Kauko — a movable café with objects that people could control remotely in real-time from the campaign website. The objects at first glance seem normal, but have actually been badly designed on purpose to dramatize the importance of thoughtful design.
The website, the café, and the WDC website (wdchelsinki12.fi) all received strong traffic and participation. Kauko also got a lot of attention in online media such as TIME News Feed, BBC News Europe, Yahoo! News, Gizmodo, Folha.com, GeekoSystem and Blouin Artfino. International TV stations like BBC Europe, BBC Brazil, Globo News, and RT Arabi covered the story as well.