What we do
Creativity, user involvement, co-creation, and experimentation
Our core expertise is in practices and approaches that bring creativity, user involvement, collaboration and experimentation to development work. The essence of our work is combining academic knowledge with practical experience and a hands-on approach. We have years of experience in our fields of expertise both in academia and industry as well as their intersection.
Latest insights from research to benefit practice
We work to bring the latest research- and practice-based understanding to business in the swiftest possible manner. All of us have a background both in the research and practice of product- and service development. We offer our clients new viewpoints, insights, ways of working and tools that are always customized and adapted to the case-specific needs.
Products, services, organizational practices, and beyond
Our expertise and methods can and have been used in a variety of development contexts including b2c and b2b products, services, organizational practices, teamwork etc. The creative and collaborative working approaches are highly beneficial also outside the traditional fields of products and services.
We are happy to tell you more about the variety of work we have done.
Who we are
Samuli Mäkinen CEO
Samuli’s expertise is in the approaches for product and service development, with an emphasis on strategic user involvement. His research focuses on lead users, user innovations, and participatory design, while building on more extensive understanding of co-design approaches and processes. Samuli’s development experience is further complemented by background in multidisciplinary product and service design projects.
+358 40 702 6279
Pia specializes in strategic user-involvement in product & service development and innovation management. The potential of lead users remains still mostly unutilized companies – this is the challenge she focuses on in her doctoral thesis (being finalized in 2015). She has hands-on experience in variety of codesign methods and a thorough understanding of qualitative research. Pia is also experienced in training managers from various industries. In the past, she has been a visiting researcher in MIT.
+358 400 416 226
Matti possesses solid expertise on product development especially in terms of networked and international operations. While working as a research manager Matti has been in charge of several significant research projects, where he has been gathering insight on the challenges and best practices of development efforts in organizations. At the moment he is located in Shanghai where he manages the local Tongji Design Factory, a joint project of Aalto and Tongji universities.
+358 50 599 6159
Miko’s passion is utilizing the creative working methods of designers in different contexts and fields. Miko’s research spans the thinking and working styles in creative designers in the early phases of product development. His work covers topics such as creativity, ideation, decision-making and user involvement. He has experience from working on the design and development of award-winning products as well as several years of researching and developing working practices in organizations of different sizes and fields.
+358 41 536 9300
Dr.Sc. (Tech.), MA (Cogn.)
Lassi works in the intersection of design, technology, business and research. Capable of understanding all languages of digitizaling business, he’s worked as a UX architect, concept designer and management solving challenges of change in Finnish corporations. He currently specializes in data-driven/informed design and Lean UX. He’s got ten year of research experience from Finland and abroad. Lassi holds a PhD in product design.
+358 50 384 1508
Lic.Sc. (Tech.), M.Sc. (Econ.)
Satu specializes in the role of leadership in creative work and the dynamics of creative teams. In her ongoing PhD work she investigates what kind of leadership encourages creativity and experimentation in organizations. Further, her research explores what are the specific leadership practices that best support and foster creativity and experimentation in development work.
+358 45 263 2211
User involvement and designerly approaches in developing a toolkit for leading diversity
We worked together with a task force of the cities of Espoo, Helsinki, and Vantaa to develop Avaimia monimuotoisuuden johtamiseen (Keys to leading diversity), a new type of an approach to supporting leadership in a multicultural work environment. We provided the project a fresh perspective bringing the approaches and principles of product and service development to developing organizational practices and working methods.
The keys are a collection of concrete tools for the daily work of managers and supervisors, comprising of functional methods, tools, tips, themes for reflection, and examples of tried and tested practices. These are provided to the users in a tangible form as a deck of cards supported by an open-access website. The supervisors and managers who operate in a multicultural and diverse work environment can be thought of as the users of the knowledge on and tools for leadership of diversity.
The supervisors who are the true experts concerning their needs already possess or have developed practices, that could help many of their colleagues with their diversity-related challenges. These practices were identified and gathered from the supervisors working for the cities as well as other multicultural and diverse organizations. After this mapping, the intended users of the card deck were brought in to the process of developing the identified solutions and the cumulated understanding from the entire project into the concrete manifestation by workshops and rounds of reviewing prototypes. We facilitated and supported the process of gathering and analyzing the knowledge and understanding from the users, as well as well as working the results to a concrete and usable form.
The toolkit was received with a highly positive reaction from the intended users and has been complimented for its concreteness and for meeting the user needs. There have been several reprints of the toolkit after the original batch.
Enabling creative teamwork – The “I like, I wish” facilitated team feedback method
Innovative projects call for individual and collective creativity. This requires an atmosphere where team members feel safe to share their ideas, thoughts and doubts. Open communication is crucial in interdisciplinary teams, where differing and competing viewpoints are at the same time essential and yet can spark conflict.
I like I wish is a facilitated team feedback activity where team members of a team engaged in a creative project get to provide and receive both positive and constructive feedback in written as well as in spoken format. Sessions are processed in a safe and systematic way. The format was developed by Satu through dozens of team feedback sessions organized since 2011. Satu received the “Teaching act of the year” award from Aalto University School of Engineering for integrating the method to several courses.
Find out more about the method, including video testimonials and full instructions for application of the method complete with downloadable templates at:
Get in touch
Riihi Consulting Oy
c/o Aalto Design Factory
+358 40 702 6279
Samuli Mäkinen CEO
Business ID: 2432092-2