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North Cape, Norway, is a cape on the Northern coast of the island of Magerøy in Northern Norway. The European route E69 highway has its Northern most terminus at North Cape. This popular tourist attraction includes a 1.000 ft. high cliff with a large plateau on top, where tourists can stand and watch the midnight sun or the views of the Barents Sea to the North. A visiting centre was built in 1988.
How to re-design Europe’s northern most point? North Cape is a popular tourist destination, but it did not fulfil tourists’ expectations. With funding from the Norwegian Design Council’s “Design driven Innovation Program” (DIP), the aim was to strengthen the experience of visiting the Cape destination.
North Cape is a strong Norwegian brand within the travel industry, but it has lately been unable to renew itself to appear as the unique tourist destination it really is. The aim of this DIP project was to increase the attractiveness of North Cape.  The Cape destination was to be re-designed to create a holistic experience for the tourists, who manage to get so far north. The project should involve travel industry stakeholders as well as other service providers.
[Rounded Rectangle: “The main challenge was that North Cape as a destination appeared fragmented without a clear identity”.]
The main challenge was that North Cape as a destination appeared fragmented without a clear identity. Many different stakeholders were involved, but they worked independently, without relating themselves to the wishes and expectations of North Cape as a holistic experience.

Jan R. Stavik
Director – Design and Architecture Norway

How design helped

Every DIP project requires comprehensive user involvement and designer participation from day 1. In this project the service design team was given the responsibility for developing a “user voyage” with the aim of identifying actions to meet the missed expectations that were identified in the initial research phase.
To ensure proper user involvement, the service designers sought supplementary competence assistance to be able to carry out qualitative surveys based on an ethnographic method, design research methodology and social science analysis. This should give a good starting point for the continuing design strategy. Focus was on local culture, local businesses and the tourists as a target group.


 One result of the project was a more holistic user experience for North Cape, thus forming a basis for developing a common brand.  The ideas and the insight which was gained in the project are now a steering tool for everyone involved.  This makes it easier for the stakeholders to develop services and products contributing to North Cape becoming a more clear and holistic destination. The result so far is 4 concepts underlining this holistic travel experience:

  • Tracks to the North: Visual markings on the road surface to underline the feeling that you have physically crossed 71 degrees north.
  • Travellers Point: A display window and a welcome to North Cape.  This place will inspire, seduce and prepare the travellers for what is awaiting them.
  • The Alley Walk: The Alley Walk connects the inner harbour of the town of Honningsvåg and the quai of the Hurtigruten (coastal liners) with the bus station and the quai for the cruise lines. The Alley Walk is the first encounter with North Cape and Honningsvåg for those arriving by ship.
  • North Cape Connect: The concept establishes the six main attractions of the island, Honningsvår, Kamøyvær, Skarsvåg, Nordkapplatået (the North Cape Plateau), Gjesvær and Nordvågen with different solutions on how the attractions may be linked, to give a holistic experience. 

All the concepts are being developed. Travellers Point is already finished, and Tracks to the North will be finished in May, 2017.
This case study has been developed under BEDA “Design Europe 2021 – Design for Cultural and Creative Growth” project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union