New ceremonial necklaces for deans: laboratory glass, clay and carbon fibre
On 4 September at the opening for the academic year, there will be something new adorning the necks of the university’s deans. The former gold decorations on the necklaces worn by deans of the schools of technology have been replaced with more engineer-themed materials.
A sign of power that rulers have used for throughout the centuries, the ceremonial necklace has also become a firmly established part of academic ceremonial tradition. President Tuula Teeri received the president's official symbols, a gown and necklace, at Aalto University's official opening ceremony in January 2010. On 4 September, deans who head Aalto University's schools of technology will receive new, academic symbols to be used at ceremonies.
The gowns and necklaces for the deans are telling of the high standard of and ambitious design expertise at Aalto University.
Petri Varsta, Dean of the School of Engineering will have a necklace with an engineer-like angular ceramic rim of beads made of red clay. Outi Krause, Dean of the School of Chemical Technology will have a necklace that is rimmed with beads made of borosilicate glass, which is used for the production of laboratory dishes. The material of the necklace worn by Kimmo Kaski, Dean of the School of Science is carbon fibre and that of the necklace worn by Tuija Pulkkinen, Dean of the School Electrical Engineering is copper.
As a nod to traditional materials, each of the necklaces has the same type of rim woven from silver beads, which symbolises Aalto University. The structure of the necklaces is flexible, but such that it retains its shape.
'My inspiration for the necklaces for the deans of the Aalto University schools of technology sprung from the classical elements: earth, water, air and fire,' tells Kirsti Taiviola, the designer of Aalto's necklaces and a glass artist and designer.
The designer explains that summing up the multidisciplinary schools in one material was a challenging design task. Copper, an excellent conductor of electricity, felt like the natural choice for the School of Electrical Engineering, while carbon fibre, which is a strong composite material, represents the strong material technology expertise at the School of Science.
'Keeping to traditional materials did not even cross my mind," says Ms Taiviola, who teaches design at Aalto University.
Autumn will see the creation of ceremonial necklaces for the deans of the School of Business and School of Arts, Design and Architecture, also designed by Ms Taiviola.
The outfits for women deans have also been produced by the university; they were designed by students from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
Text: Petja Partanen
Ceremonial necklaces for deans
Designer: Kirsti Taiviola
Goldsmith: Anna Heino
School of Chemical Technology
Materials: silver, borosilicate glass
School of Electrical Engineering
Materials: silver, copper
School of Engineering
Element: earthMaterials: silver, red clay
School of Science
Materials: silver, carbon fibre
In the picture from left to right: Kimmo Kaski, Outi Krause, Kirsi Taiviola, Petri Varsta
Tuija Pulkkinen, photos: Erica Kovanen