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Last week I wrote about the new Quality Report ASQ has shared. There’s a very good point in the 2015 Future of Quality report that I now want to address to you guys.

Alvar Aalto – Design and Quality Guru

I bet you have heard something about Finland – NOKIA at least. In addition to that, it’s a country of over a thousand lakes, beautiful archipelago, Santa Claus, sauna and sisu. There are a number of Finnish people and enterprises that have contributed to Finland being recognized globally. Among these are Angry Birds, Lordi (in the Eurovision Song Contest), Kimi Räikkönen (Formula 1 driver) and Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, of whom I’m talking about today.

Alvar Aalto in his Studio

Customer centricity through functionality, quality and design


There has been two transformations that have changed the way products and services are developed – firstly, the way customers are involved in the design process and secondly, the changes occurring in the design process itself. When focusing on the consumer centricity, one perspective today that is commonly accepted as a fundamental principle is that the best customers are the ones who are profitable and whose trade is retained, and that consistent deliver of quality is the strongest determinant of loyalty in customer relationships.

So what does Finland got to do with these transformations? Well, the name Alvar Aalto is known worldwide both for innovative architecture and exceptional furniture design. In a design process, Alvar Aalto is the person who represents an archetype for simplicity in blending form with function. And I am sure everyone craves for furniture that is both pleasant for the eye and functional in everyday life, AND of good quality. Aalto is the person who realized that quality is a principal in the design criterion and that it needs to be present in every phase of the design process. He says that:

Alvar Aalto Quote and Vase

The Stool 60 and its Effects

One of Aalto’s masterpieces is the functional Stool 60. Aalto helped pioneering the groundbreaking process of bending wood, and then applied it in creating the legs of his three-legged stool. The design allowed the seats to be stacked easily on top of one another, taking up far less storage space. And even though the stool was created over 80 years ago, there are still people who buy one every year!

alvar aalto stool 60 design quality
Artek Alvar Aalto Stools 60

Alvar Aalto – Design and Quality Guru was one of the designer who created the image of quality and functionality that Finnish design is still appreciated today. He was a gate opener.

To conclude, for successful outcomes, organizations must design a quality emphasis that is aligned with the understanding about the true customer needs. This way you fulfill customer’s expectations of the product or service. Simplicity in design must be in balance with the need to embrace the chaotic uncertainty that occurs because of the diversified needs of customers.

How about you: Do you know any good designers?

Sources: This is Finland, Future of Quality Report. Learn more about Alvar Aalto here.