KONE Foundation

KONE Foundation

Designing an art residency model for stay-at-home residents during the pandemic



The Saari Art Residence, maintained by Kone Foundation and located in Mynämäki, Southwest Finland, is meant for professional artists and artistic collectives of all disciplines and nationalities. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the residency operating model so that part of the Saari Fellows cannot travel to Finland and work in residence in-situ. Sonder supported the Kone Foundation in a service design process to design supportive tools that improve the experience of a home residency.


We conducted a series of interviews and workshops with Saari staff and artist fellows to identify the needs, challenges and opportunities of a home residency as well as improve the hybrid residency experience. The project was thought of as an interative process. As such, during a workshop with the Saari staff, where the results of the research were shared, opportunities for design and a solution prototype was developed and was tested in spring 2022 by the Saari staff with current residents.


A visual MIRO board was designed to host information about the residency and serve as a platform for interaction between the residents. It resembles the physical layout of the Saari residency in the hope that the location is more present for the artists staying at home. Artists create their own profiles and are encouraged to add their own materials and experiences to the board. A calendar serves as a central tool to keep track of the residency and plan activities. Additional art works and other materials are available to enhance further the immersive experience.

Matrix of 14 slides with text and colourful post-its on them
Synthesising the user insights for a co-creation workshop
Saari residence website



Our services

  • Design research

  • Service design

  • Prototyping

  • Implementation support

Partner organisations

  • KONE Foundation


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