#6 DesignTalks: The relevance of design for innovation

What is the value of design for innovation? Severi Uusitalo (Aalto University), Andreas Benker (Fiskars Group) and Thomas Abrell (Volkswagen) will share their insights.
DesignTalks - The relevance of design for innovation
Illustration: Sabina Friman

Watch the recording of the event below


  • 16:00 – Event starts
  • 16:05 – Developing innovative solutions - Piloting and experimentation- Andreas Benker - Service Design Lead at Fiskars Group and Thomas Abrell - Design Thinking Expert at Volkswagen.
  • 16:35 – Building knowledge with design in innovation projects- Severi Uusitalo - Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Aalto University
  • 17:05 - Break
  • 17:15 – Andreas + Thomas + Severi - Discussion on design for innovation.

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 to everyone, but Aalto students can get one 1 ECTS study credit upon participating to all lectures and returning a learning diary. 

The 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]


Andreas Benker
Andreas Benker

Andreas Benker, Service Design Lead. Fiskars Group.

Andreas is Service Design Lead in Fiskars Group BRUK, a hub for co-creation and new business model design. His work focuses on interdisciplinary concept development and piloting new services. He is passionate about the role of users in innovation processes and circular business models, particularly the scalability of shared services. Andreas holds a PhD from Aalto University School of Business with a focus on user knowledge utilization in innovation. He is also alumni of Aalto’s IDBM program.

Thomas Abrell
Thomas Abrell

Thomas Abrell, Design Thinking Expert. Volkswagen.

Dr. Thomas Abrell is a multidisciplinary Design Thinking expert working in Marketing & Sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on digital ecosystems. Before, he held different positions within VW Commercial Vehicles and the Volkswagen Group, e.g. as strategist and senior service designer in the VW Group's Smart Mobility Team. Prior to his time at Volkswagen, Thomas worked as innovation manager at Airbus' Corporate Innovation Team. Besides a doctorate from the University of St.Gallen in Business Innovation, Thomas holds a M.Sc. in International Design Business Management from Aalto University and a M.A. double degree in Design (Tongji University, Shanghai)

Severi Uusitalo
Severi Uusitalo

Severi Uusitalo, Associate Professor of Industrial Design. Aalto University.

Severi Uusitalo is an associate professor of industrial design at Aalto's Department of Design. He has been working in design and research prior to returning to academia six years ago. At Nokia Research Center he was involved in research and innovation projects in fields of product and user experience design He has approximately 20 authored or co-authored patents. Currently, along with the role as a design educator, he is participating in Accessible Magnetic Resonance Imaging research project together with Aalto ELEC. His interests include also computational design tools and their application to product design and design education.

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

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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.

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