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Finnish architecture anddesign: A natural fitWritten by: Ruairí O’Brien, ArchitectLast update: 2 March 2020First Artek shop in Helsinki, 1936; photo provided especially to OECD Observer byArtek.Finland has a reputation among designers, architects and artistsfor being a land, a nation, a culture that produces high-qualitydesign and architecture. It tops happiness polls and educationalsurveys, can produce determined sports champions, and world-class high-tech products and games software, but it also has arelatively high incidence of mental illness and has been battlingdown its suicide rate. A land of extremes with a wide breadth ofemotions, talents and expectations?What is the secret of this small nation’s success? People, their customs and theirlocal habits are often expressions of an existential struggle with the naturalsettings they are born in. In Finland the extreme cold and darkness of winter, thelong days of light in summer, the deep cool lakes, the secretive beauty of theforests,...