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Test_Design Diplomacy in NYCxDESIGN Design Days

Nordic Design Diplomacy New York, adapting a concept originally created by Helsinki Design Week, will open virtual doors to the prestigious Nordic consular residences in a series of exclusive talks. Nordic Design Diplomacy boldly combines traditional diplomacy with casual dialogue, creating a unique and accessible way for both speakers and the audience to ponder the significance of Nordic design values in contemporary society.


Nordic Consul Generals will host a talk in which US meet Nordic designers, discussing life and work based on questions from a specially curated deck of cards. The conversations will be take place in the residences, as well as be live-streamed and recorded for a wider audience. In addition, the audience will learn about the residences’ design and history.

A common, professional framework based on high-quality digital platform and a clear series brand is essential to portray Nordic values in a time of online competition. The focus on opening up residences, providing access to places of privilege and power, combined with a setting that promotes free speech and open exchange of ideas, showcases Nordic values, rather than merely talking about them.

A design professional from the hosting country meets a local design professional in a card game in which playful and intelligent questions challenge both the speakers and the audience to reflect upon design as a part of  intercultural exchange. The concept combines the prestigious diplomatic setting with informal discussions and importantly, builds vital international links for diplomatic representations, design professionals and audiences.


In the diplomatic residence of Sweden in New York, designer X meets architect Y. X:n lyhyt bioteksti (“kolme lausetta”) ja potretti? ja Y:n lyhyt bioteksti (“kolme lausetta”) (ja potretti?) In their card game, they end up finding a solution in fighting global warming through the use of participatory design methodologies and also making each other laugh when sharing a childhood memory.

The Design Diplomacy concept was created by Helsinki Design Week, the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Helsinki Design Week (9.–19.9.2021) believes in international cooperation and the possibility to change the world through meaningful encounters and  interaction. Sometimes all you need is a deck of cards. Incidentally, the word diplomacy derives from the Greek word diplōma, which means a paper folded in two. Design Diplomacy was launched as part of the festival’s programme in 2016. Since then, events have been organized in up to 20 embassies in Helsinki each year. In addition, Design Diplomacy conversations have been held in Reykjavik, Tokyo, New York, Madrid, Oslo, Berlin and Canberra. Subscribe to Helsinki Design Weekly (tilauslinkki) and engage in the phenomena, news and dialogue of the Nordic design scene.

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