In 2015, Goeun Park, Dan Palarie, Anna Muukkonen and Soroush Moradi formed a team in Sustainable Product and Service Design, one of Creative Sustainability’s core courses. In this course, their team worked with Tuusula municipality in a solar energy project. From here begins the story of HIDE Design.
HIDE Design is a company with a core in sustainability. They conduct projects from a small to macro scale, including: product design, consultancy and producing visual material. However, all four founding members of HIDE design highlight that instead of profiling themselves too much in one direction, they rather remain open for any sustainability challenges.
“It doesn’t matter what we do, but it is related to sustainability” Dan Palarie
Goeun, Dan, Anna and Soroush all have different strengths and backgrounds, but through the Creative Sustainability studies they have formulated an efficient way of working together, where each one’s capabilities complement the skills and knowledge of the others. This enables HIDE Design to tackle challenges with a novel approach, which separates them from traditional design or architecture offices. The skills and experience of HIDE Designers includes architecture, industrial design, design engineering and research. Holistic understanding of sustainability connected to this set of skills yields solutions which are composed of good design and sustainability. For the designers themselves it has been important from the beginning that the company looks like them, including values, abilities and interests.
“CS put us to work us together”
The paths of HIDE Design and Creative Sustainability (CS) have crossed several times. The idea of HIDE Design grew out of the Sustainable Product and Service Design course at the request of Tuusula municipality. At the course, Goeun, Dan, Anna and Sorosh created a proposal of a solar panel wall to isolate noise from the road and produce energy for the locals of Rykmentinpuisto, a new housing area in Tuusula. Excited by the proposal, Tuusula municipality was willing to take the proposal further, but for them it was more comfortable to continue work with a company than a group of students, so they suggested the team start a company. Working on the concept of a solar wall became the first work assignment of HIDE Design, and the start of the journey to learn how to be an entrepreneur.
HIDE received a grant from Aalto University and support from the Aalto community. Especially Mikko Jalas, the director of CS and the responsible teacher in Sustainable Product and Service Design, encouraged and helped along the process. For Anna, a designer, working with business students in CS opened a new world of sustainable way of practicing business, and understanding that business and sustainability are not antonyms.
Today, the portfolio of HIDE Design includes a number of projects, from solar panel workshops to a water refilling station, which was used in Slush this year. As a company, HIDE Design has already gained some trust and experience, which they hope at some point to spark more cooperation with the public sector.
The HIDE Designers invite students to approach them:
“We encourage CS students, or any students, to approach us with their ideas and collaborate”