Design is for all
We at Design Museum want to offer everyone a good museum experience and the chance to participate as themselves. We do not accept discrimination or harassment. We encourage people to learn and ask questions and to assume diversity as a starting point. We want to be a place where it is easy to come and everyone feels good. Our staff is there for you. Please notify us if you encounter inappropriate behavior or want to give us other feedback. Together we can make Design Museum a safer and more comfortable space for everyone.
Design Museum’s principles for a safer space
[Latest update 14 December 2022]
Design is for all! We at Design Museum want everyone to have a safe museum experience and participate as who they are, without fear of discrimination or harassment.
These are Design Museum’s principles for a safer space. We haven’t invented them ourselves, but have, rather, looked at various examples, asked for feedback from external experts and revised our existing principles based on it.
Design Museum is committed to the principles for a safer space in all its activities. We follow the principles in the museum’s own spaces, at the events and when working with the public as well as in virtual spaces and social media. Design Museum actively strives to create a safer operating environment for its visitors, partners and staff.
We have reviewed the museum’s contents from the perspective of equality and non-discrimination, and will continue to regularly do so. We want to pay special attention to the experiences of those of our customers that belong to underrepresented groups in the museum’s facilities and exhibitions and when working with the public.
Our whole staff, including the temporary staff, receives training in equality and in how to identify different forms of discrimination. We communicate our principles for a safer space to all our partners and expect them to commit to them at the museum events. Furthermore, you as a visitor also have the chance to contribute in the following ways to making Design Museum a safer space.
Equality, inappropriate behavior and intervention
Human dignity belongs to everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, country of origin, nationality, language, religion or belief, opinion, disability, state of health, sexual orientation, financial situation or other personal characteristics. We are all equal. Everyone has the right to be heard and respected.
Design Museum does not accept harassment or discrimination, such as racism. We always address these immediately, regardless of who the discriminating or harassing person is.
Use of space and participation
Everyone can contribute to the safety of public spaces and situations. Observe your own actions and their impact on others. We all have our own needs and wishes in common spaces and situations. Everyone is also welcome to come to the museum to just hang out for no special reason. Listen, and give space to others as well.
Design Museum is responsible for the safety of the common spaces and situations. As a museum that is inclusive to all, we hope to receive feedback on our operations. We want to hear new points of view and learn from them. We are committed to continuously assessing our operations and developing them based on the gained feedback. Design Museum actively makes space for different ways of being and interacting.
Assumptions and generalizations
We encourage the assumption of diversity as the starting point. It is not impossible to avoid assumptions and prejudices altogether, but people can reflect on them critically and re-evaluate their own actions. Be sensitive to the presence and experience of others. Do not remark on other people’s appearance, clothing, body or manner of speaking or make assumptions based on them. Avoid stereotypes, generalizations and gendered language in your speech.
Design Museum does not accept inappropriate verbal or non-verbal comments. All our staff, including the temporary staff, receives training regarding stereotypes.
Asking, learning and feeling unsure
Design Museum is a space for learning. It is okay to ask questions and feel unsure. We all make mistakes and may receive feedback on them. We are committed to learning from the feedback we gain. The learning may evoke feelings of discomfort but that’s not dangerous. We give and make space for each other to learn. Everyone has the right to feel and express their own experiences of discrimination or harassment, and it can make others feel uncomfortable. We support each other as we move beyond our comfort zones.
Design Museum is also ready to listen, learn and correct its mistakes.
Language, discussion and understandability
We pay attention to how we speak to each other and what kind of language we use. We give everyone space to speak and be heard. Feel free to ask if you don’t understand. We are committed to resolving any misunderstandings that may occur.
Design Museum strives to use plain language in its communications and activities and to clarify difficult concepts. The museum’s main language of communication is Finnish. Much of the content is available in English and Swedish as well. Where possible, translations and information are also available in other languages.
The Design Museum staff is there for you. At the situations and events organized by the museum the staff is responsible for intervening in inappropriate behavior and discrimination. If you want to speak or need help there is always a member of the staff available whom you can turn to. You can give feedback either directly to the staff, with an anonymous feedback form or by email. You can also give feedback when you have concerns about the staff’s own behavior. The feedback is used for developing the operations further.
It is everyone’s responsibility to respect others. We can all do our best to be conscious of our privileges and to pay attention to how our own behavior affects others. We encourage everyone to learn and ask questions. But do remember to allow the other visitors to enjoy their visit to the museum in peace. You can also find out about equality and new things independently.
Everyone can take care of the safety of the common space by intervening in inappropriate behavior and harassment or by notifying the Design Museum staff.
Feedback and the possibility to comment and have an impact
You can give feedback anonymously to Design Museum on the principles for a safer space and the general safety at the museum with this form: palautelomake (link opens to a new tab).
The equality working group made up of members of the Design Museum staff goes through the feedback about once a month. We will contact you if you so wish. Your feedback is very important to us in developing and improving our operations. Thank you for taking the time to write!
Why “safer” and not “safe”?
The principles for a safer space are a communal practice to enhance safety. In a safer space primarily the staff or a designated person but also the other participants take responsibility for the safety of the common social space and especially for difficult situations. The principles for a safer space make it possible to deal with conflicts instead of merely tolerating them. The word “safer” is used instead of the word “safe” because it is not impossible to guarantee a completely safe space for everyone.
The origins of the principles for a safer space are in subcultures and alternative cultures, especially sexual and gender minority events and spaces, where people wanted to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be who they are without fear of harassment, discrimination or even violence.
Source: Ruskeat tytöt: Turvallisemman tilan periaatteet.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudiced treatment of different groups of people or individuals in relation to, for example, one or more of the following characteristics, for which they should not be discriminated against:
-transgender identity or non-normative expression of gender
-cultural or ethnic background
-religion or other belief
-appearance or body
-class or socioeconomic background
Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Inadequate accessibility,*, harassment, sexual harassment and enticement to discrimination are also forms of discrimination.
*Design Museum is not fully accessible. You can find more information on the museum’s accessibility in the accessibility report. You can give us feedback also on the museum’s accessibility.
What is harassment and inappropriate behavior?
Harassment and inappropriate behavior can be aggressive pressure, threats, bullying, ostracizing or intimidation. Sexual harassment means approaching another person physically in an unwanted and inappropriate way or making sexual remarks and innuendos.
Source: #StopHatredNow: Ethical Guidelines. Referenced 25 October 2022. https://www.stophatrednow.fi/ethical-guidelines (link opens to new tab)
Materials to support independent learning
Design Museum has included in this section links to two glossaries that can be used to support independent learning. The glossaries have been compiled by the organizations listed below. Thank you for your work!
Fem-R Glossary: Fem-R is a feminist and antiracist civil society organization which aims to increase the voices of racialized people in Finnish society and to take part in the building of an equal and safe Finland for everyone. The Fem-R glossary offers a collection of the key words and concepts related to feminism and antiracism. The purpose of the glossary is to serve as a source of feminist discussion for those not yet familiar with the terms in practice.
Fem-R Glossary (in Finnish only): http://www.fem-r.fi/sanasto/ (link opens to new tab)
Seta’s Rainbow Glossary:
Seta is a human right advocacy organization with the aim of bringing about a comprehensive change in society to ensure that human rights and wellbeing are realized in Finland and internationally regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of gender. Seta’s Rainbow Glossary compiles central concepts and terms related to gender and sexual minorities.
Seta’s Rainbow Glossary (in Finnish only): https://seta.fi/sateenkaaritieto/sateenkaarisanasto/ (link opens to new tab)
The Yhdenvertaisuus.fi website is a databank for people and organizations interested in equality and non-discrimination. It is maintained by the Finnish Ministry of Justice.
Yhdenvertaisuus.fi (in English): https://yhdenvertaisuus.fi/en/frontpage (link opens to new tab)
We wish to thank for their invaluable work all those who took part in the development of these principles and provided feedback.
The principles applied by the following cultural operators have been used as a source for Design Museum’s principles for a safer space: The Museum of Finnish Architecture, #StopHatredNow, Ruskeat tytöt, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Vantaa Art Museum Artsi, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, The Culture for All Service.
In the photo is the Design Museum’s Design for Every Body exhibition, which highlighted the connections between design and equality over the past hundred years. Photographer: Paavo Lehtonen, 2022