Sonder

Building a network of passionate people coming
together to harness the power of our collaboration
and imagination for a vibrant future.

Three Facts about Us

Sonder operates as a network of over 20 members and collaborators across four continents.

Sonder is registered in Finland andgoverned by the Finnish Co-operative Act but our members are based all over the globe.

Sonder was founded in 2017 by three designers, but through its new members, collaborators and projects, is a continuously evolving entity.

The Story behind Sonder

Sonder was born out of a desire to work differently.

We created Sonder to deviate from the traditional way of working that is characteristic of corporate design consultancies. This meant shifting from a hierarchical structure of management to a democratic and participatory style of self-governance. With this set up we can pull from a wide network of professionals to associate the best people with the right specialized expertise for each project, rather than assign the human resources that are most available. Furthermore with this lean organisational structure, Sonder keeps operational costs to a minimum. We do not aim to make profit off of the that work we do, instead we are guided by the impact that we can create.

Transparency is key to us. For more detail on how we are set up, we’ve developed handbook: https://sonder.gitbook.io/sonder/

Our Work Ethos

We have conversed for many, many hours about
what drives us personally, and the best way to summarize these values
and what we prioritize as a co-operative are:

What does Sonder mean

Our collective's name represents the way we see the world and understand the people we design with. It demonstrates both the individuality and shared connectedness that defines each of us.

“The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” (from the “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” by John Koenig)

The S in our brand is a reflection of these many stories that co-exist and crisscross. The name Sonder acknowledges the complexity of the stories that interlink when we design with people and embraces the fact that we are only small specks in the backdrop of other people’s ways of making decisions, behaving and living in the world. Sonder reflects our deep curiosity for the complexity of these human stories and teaches us to be humble when glimpsing into these lives.

 

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