It is estimated that there are more than half of the population worldwide living in the city, thus, in order to make the city life more humanized and ideal, the term "design" has become a basic element to make the city more creative, attractive and livable. "The world design capital" is a plan initiated by the ICSID ( International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) for the global cities to conduct their transformations with design. And yet there have been six cities which are elected. To be the world design capital can improve the global visibility of a city, and what’s more, it can promote tourism, as well as the design industry, incorporating all people into design life. In 2012, with the design capital as a starting point, Helsinki begins to view design from a broad perspective, and manages to integrate the Nordic design style and spirit into the development of society, economy and culture, finally making design innovation for a number of urban cities possible, shaping city characteristics successfully, showing the city vitality and creativity.
In this paper, in addition to an in-depth study of Helsinki’s participation into the transformation of world design capital, innovation process and results, it also exemplifies the interaction with Finland’s neighbors, Denmark and Sweden, and formation and development of its modern design style.