Design Union -
design without limits


Design Union is a bold and open-minded promoter and developer of design expertise.

We are an international point of connection for design where business and design connect and begin their successful journey together.

International network

Design Union cooperates with the design expertise network in Italy, China, Germany and the United Kingdom. Design Union in Finland is led by Kuopion Rouvasväenyhdistys.  

Sense of community

Collaboration and social responsibility for maintaining a design culture through design education and teaching.

Design into business

Increasing the value of your business by design.

Design as business

Commercialization of designer skills and increase of new customer relationships and earnings.

International networks

Cooperation and learning across borders.

Learning and development without boundaries

Utilizing and developing a digital learning environment that is independent of time and place.


Academy of Design

Renown history

The Kuopio Academy of Design has a great tradition of teaching crafts and design for over 130 years. Our first craft school was founded in 1884 and a new craft school, the current Design Academies, in 2014.

Joy through design

Anyone interested in good design and craft education can study at our Design Academies. The teachers are professionals of crafts and design, and our teachers also feature visiting domestic and foreign teachers. Teaching also includes various tours and visits to places of interest. Our curriculum follows the history of Finnish design; the module that discusses design from the Stone Age to the future will be taught over three years.

Inspiring environment

Our teaching facilities are located in the beautiful Piispantalo, built in 1856, near the center of Kuopio.

Kuopio Academy of Design has groups for children, young people, adults and seniors.


The Kuopio Academy of Design and Design Union are run by Kuopion Rouvasväenyhdistys, which is a significant cultural organization in Kuopio that was founded in 1860. Waking up to take social action, inspired by nationalism, was behind the creation of the organization.