#4 DesignTalks: The relevance of design for research

Why design is especially useful for research? Guy Julier (Aalto University), Niall Shakeshaft (VTT) and Jane Vita (VTT) will share their insights.
Design for research
Illustration: Sabina Friman

Watch the recording of the event below:


  • 16:00 – Event starts
  • 16:05 – Design in research. Bringing human-centric innovation methods into VTT Niall Shakeshaft - VP of Design at VTT and Jane Vita - Design Lead at VTT.
  • 16:35 – Quick and Dirty, Slow and Thoughtful:  Design Research in Public - Guy Julier, Professor of Design Leadership at Aalto University.
  • 17:05 - Break
  • 17:15 – Guy + Niall + Jane - Discussion on design for research.

DesignTalks series consists of eight lectures during December 2021 – May 2022. Each event will have its own theme discussing the relevance of design in different contexts such as sustainable development, corporations, cities, business-to-business, research, accessibility, creative projects, and many more.

The series will complement and continue our introductory on-line course to design, Design Bits. The series of talks is open for everyone, but Aalto students can get one 1 ECTS study credit upon participating to all lectures and returning a learning diary. 

Lecture series is organized by the Design Inside initiative in collaboration with Radical Creativity. If you have any questions about this event, send a message to Paulo Dziobczenski - Designer in residence at Aalto University: [email protected]


Niall Shakeshaft

Niall Shakeshaft, Vice-President/Head of Design. VTT

Niall Shakeshaft is VP/Head of Design at VTT. He joined VTT in 2018, where he now leads the VTT Design team – VTT’s in-house service and business design organization. He is passionate about combining modern, iterative ‘pull’ innovation methods with VTT’s world-class research capabilities to solve important global problems. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering from the University of Bath, UK and an MBA from Helsinki School of Economics (Aalto Universtiy). He also occasionally acts as a lecturer on business design.

Jane Vita
Jane Vita

Jane Vita, Design Lead. VTT

Jane Vita is Design Lead at VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, where her daily work is about creating bridges between innovative technologies and sustainable, human and ethical futures, supporting the research impact's maximisation. She is also PhD candidate in New Media at Aalto University and owns Masters in Web Design and in Service Innovation and Design.  Jane believes that design challenges must be approached holistically and systemically; and that designers can facilitate and engage in the dissolution of any challenge and build a better world.

Guy Julier
Guy Julier

Guy Julier, Professor of Design Leadership. Aalto University.

Guy Julier is Professor of Design Leadership and Head of Research in the Department of Design at Aalto University. He takes design leadership to involve the creation of opportunities for new ways of designing and for new design objects to result. His academic and professional experience takes in an ‘expanded field’ of design practice, that includes developing events and encounters, curatorship and formulating transdisciplinary teams. He takes inspiration from, human geography, material culture studies and post-capitalist imaginaries, among numerous specialisms. He is attributed as the founder of the discipline of Design Culture Studies.

Design Bits is Aalto's introductory online course to design for non-designers. Illustration: Paulo Dziobczenski

Design Bits online course for non-designers (external link)

Become more creative problem-solver by learning how to learn through exploration and experimentation.

Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova

Radical creativity

We build an outstanding creative community for new thinking.

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Good design benefits us all – welcome to open DesignTalks lecture series

Join us for our open lecture series discussing about the relevance of design in different contexts.

Relevance of design for cities

#3 DesignTalks: The relevance of design for cities

Why design is especially useful for cities? Núria Solsona (Aalto University) and Hanna Harris (City of Helsinki) are sharing their insights. Everyone is welcome to join!

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