Hanna Neuvo and Marina Gretsova, Fyra


March 2024

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Digital work in interior design means a wide spectrum of activities: from BIM and concept validation, 3D modeling to Virtual reality and utilization of AI tools. Naturally we keep track of all these digital innovations, how it can bring extra value to our customers and further users. Additionally, we acknowledge that artificial intelligence is here to stay, and therefore applying it wherever applicable in our work. We also created the Fyra metaverse virtual lounge. It is a virtual presentation of our portfolio, services, and values.

Digital sustainability is about finding the right solution and tool to spend optimal amount of computing power and thus electricity on the task at hand. Another way to approach this is how digitalization of work can make things more sustainable. For example we are doing digital twins of offices and hotel rooms. You can experience this from a phone, a desktop or a VR headset. Digital mock-up room reduces possible waste and emissions during the construction process. In virtual reality you see what works and what doesn’t, simplifying the process of doing changes. Virtual tours can reduce travel expenses especially in larger projects, which highlights our commitment to using digital tools to achieve a more sustainable approach to design work.

Of course the most sustainable building is a building never built or a space never renovated. If we do a virtual showroom instead of building a physical showroom, we can benefit from the digital tools.

Last fall we designed new office spaces for EY Finland. They moved to a completely new building and we created a digital twin for the new premises. The final tour was used as an onboarding tool for the personnel. Through a link they could visit the new office space virtually and see exactly how the physical space would look like and function. This is a real life example of how digital tools help our clients.

Fyra X EY

However, there is a great sustainable opportunity in creating virtual spaces that do not replicate physical ones but are an entity of their own. A virtual showroom that relieves the necessity of building a physical one saves notable number of resources, providing users with similar or even more memorable experiences. This was partially the reason behind us creating our own Fyra Virtual Lounge. Moreover, we believe that metaverse should be designed by professionals, with human-centric design approach, and thus we decided to take the first step.

Change is always frightening.

We as human beings are resistant to change so change management process or change management tool which is really important in big transformation projects, helps.  

At the moment one of the challenges that we face as a design agency is that we work in a really material intensive industry. Say we refurbish a 6000 square meter hotel or office space, there’s an incredible amount of material and furniture specified to one single project. Designers have a huge responsibility but there is also great opportunity to push this thinking forward. If there are any digital tools or services that we can use that can help the evaluation process, if a material is better or this furniture is more sustainable than another, then it’s always good.

Hanna Neuvo and Marina Gretsova

The projects always start by making an inventory of what exists. We evaluate what can be utilized, do we really need to take down these glass walls or can we use the same structure. There is a lot more awareness of this type of thinking but often still other factors matter more.

When we designed the office space for Berg & Ridge a lot of attention was put on using recycled furniture from Franckly and other similar circular design platforms.  A different kind of example is the office design we made for Sitra. We utilized a lot of existing furniture and material making the changes with minimalistic resources. This was an example of circular design and won us a prize in the sustainability section of Workplace Awards 2023.

Our work revolves around designing spaces for people, and it's the most gratifying part of our profession. Every space has a user and considering that we spend a majority of our time indoors, the environment we use really matters. A well-designed space can positively impact and enhance the user’s wellbeing. We advocate for life-centric design, focusing not only the needs of individuals but also on environmental and societal sustainability. Through our projects, we can make a positive impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.


There is a significant need to design with less material.

The biggest challenge for us designers is how to do projects in a more sustainable way but still design high quality work. There needs to be a shift in our thinking about do we need all this decoration, material or can we deal with less and still have the space beautiful aesthetically. Creativity becomes even more essential when resources are limited.

For the building industry there is much to be done. Recently, for the first time ever, we started a new project with a big client owning buildings in Helsinki city center. The client requested us to make a lifecycle assessment. This environmental impact calculation is a completely new business opportunity for us as well. When we can also integrate the digital tools, it will help the whole industry. We can make better suggestions and better decisions for our clients. We have to act now because the building industry plays such a big role in the green transition. Everybody should start the shift of the mindset immediately.

Fyra designs spaces for belonging by drawing from deep experience in workplace, hospitality, retail and concept design, as well as real estate development and architecture. Hanna Neuvo is the design agency's CEO and Co-founder, while Marina Gretsova works as Digital Development Lead Senior 3D Artist.

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