4 seasons, 1 solution – Mitsubishi Electric



This project was about combining service design with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) devices. It was the third consecutive year that Mitsubishi Electric was part of an IDBM Industry project, and one of the main ideas was to continue the work of the previous projects.



Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world's leading companies in the manufacturing and sales of electrical and electronic products and systems. Today, Mitsubishi Electric's corporate mission is to “Improve technologies, and services by applying creativity to all business aspects.” 


The project offered a challenge of how to reach the ambitious goals in a multidisciplinary team with constant pressure, a tight schedule and a limited budget. The challenge required strong trust, good humor and ability to work together in a situation where part of the team is out of their comfort zone while the others were able to use their strengths.

Initial Brief

How to create more value for the user with existing products in 2020.


The process of the project was divided into four main parts: planning, research, ideation and finalizing.
The first part, planning, consisted of creating a concrete project plan. The goals and aims of the project, as well as the schedule and budget, were clarified at this phase.
The planning part was followed by research. It included all background research conducted in Finland and abroad, such as a literature review and several expert and user interviews.
The third part, ideation, aimed to find the best possible ideas for further development. A workshop at Mitsubishi Electric in Edinburgh was held of to kick-off the ideation process. In addition the team visited the ISH conference in Frankfurt and had several ideation sessions in Finland.
During the final part, the chosen ideas were developed further. At this phase the team conducted a user workshop in Finland, where the ideas were tested and commented. Finally, the final concepts were formed and presented to the client in mid May.


As the project emphasized service design, several methods of the field were utilized. In the workshops and ideating phase, the team used methods such as customer journey maps, personas, ideating cards and business model canvases. These methods helped us to ideate and understand the users´ needs, wants and behavior. In addition, traditional methods such as a literature review were used.

Field trip

For the first research trip, the team traveled to the US. The purpose of the trip was to visit to the AHR Expo held in Las Vegas and to three different service design companies in Los Angeles. All in all, the trip was very fruitful providing more knowledge on the HVAC industry, and learnings on service design methods.
The first workshop of the project was held with the Mitsubishi Electric team in Edinburgh, Scotland. The aim was to generate ideas based on our research by using methods and service design-oriented exercises such as persona generation, customer journey maps, and ideation card games.
The second conference visit took place in Frankfurt, Germany. The team attended the ISH conference and gathered more background information and new ideas for the project. Since the conference was held in Europe, it was clearly more focused on European market than the previous AHR expo in US, and therefore gave us a different perspective of the HVAC market.


The final outcomes of the project were three great concepts that Mitsubishi Electric can utilize in their development work. The concepts were generated based on the research and they were described with the help of the business model canvas -tool in a final book that was made for the client. The material, as well as the concepts, are confidential.

Team Mitsubishi Electric

  • Matilda Akkola,
    BSc Information Networks / IDBM SC
  • Wa’ed Ibrahim
    BSc Multimedia Design / IDBM ARTS
  • Heini Salopelto
    BSc Economics and Business Administration / IDBM BIZ
  • Esteban Solis Castelan
    BA Industrial Design / IDBM ARTS
  • Mikko Wallenius
    BSc Economics and Business Administration / IDBM BIZ