Radical Collaboration – Aalto LASER Talk

To address the existential challenges we face today, we require truly transformative and border-crossing collaboration. But how can we achieve this? Watch the video recording of our afterwork event.
LaserTalks: Radical Collaboration

Research has shown that true collaboration is often hindered by power structures and other obstacles. How can we break down these barriers and achieve transformative collaboration? 

Our three speakers shared their research and practices on fusing diverse talents and perspectives, and discuss the outcomes, possibilities, and challenges of genuine collaboration.

Watch the event recording

  Radical Collaboration // Aalto LASER Talks
17:00 Welcoming words, host Pia Fricker 
17:15 Introduction, moderator Robin Gustafsson 

Grain & Noise – Constructive disturbances of art in science 
Dr. Markus Schmidt, Biofaction KG (Austria)
The collaboration between scientists and artists can not only disrupt the routine of a day's work in the laboratory, but also unveil new perspectives and ways of understanding. When the artistic and scientific realms intersect, dynamic frictions arise, creating fertile ground for innovation and exploration. 

A new generation of art-science collaboration 
Artist, doctoral student Einat Amir, Aalto University 
Einat Amir's work centers on collaborations between artists and scientists, with a focus on the potential of such partnerships to drive societal and environmental change. In her presentation, she will introduce a model for art-science collaboration, where the artist and scientist collaborate as equals, pushing the boundaries of their respective fields and creating projects that integrate both disciplines. 

Can concrete be sustainable? 
Dr. Ashish Mohite, Hyperion Robotics 
Concrete is the second most widely used material on our planet, surpassed only by water. The two key ingredients pose a challenge: cement is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and sand is the most extracted material on Earth. Ashish Mohite discusses how to utilize concrete more efficiently to mitigate its environmental impact. 

18:25 Panel & questions from the audience 
19:00 Stage program ends, mingling begins
19:30  After party at Olarin Panimo

Drop by at the Hybrid Stage on the Otaniemi campus or watch the live stream on Aalto’s YouTube channel. On campus, the evening continues with relaxed conversation over food and drinks – and music. The venue has places for 80 people.

LASER Talks welcome everyone who is interested in challenging conventions and advancing new ways of thinking and working. The event is particularly relevant for doctoral students and alumni who seek to broaden their horizons. The language of the event will be English.

Our speakers

Radical creativity is needed when we want to change the world for better. How can we make something that could fundamentally change how we operate? What kind of collaboration can lead into paradigm shifts? Our three speakers will present fresh insights on radical collaboration.

Markus Schmidt
Markus Schmidt

Markus Schmidt, Biofaction KG  

Dr. Markus Schmidt provides solutions for biosafety challenges in synthetic and xeno-biology, carries out technology assessment of novel bio-, neuro- and converging technologies; engages in documentary film production, serious game development and explores the creative interface between art and science.

Grain & Noise – Constructive disturbances of art in science  

The collaboration between scientists and artists in the form of Artist-in-Lab residencies may not only cause a productive disturbance for a day's work in the laboratory but also reveal new ways of understanding. 

In this presentation, I will shed light on the outcome of a residence program that spans four truly cross-disciplinary collaborations, bringing together artists and synthetic biologists throughout Europe. 

I will reflect of the dynamic frictions that occurred when their artistic and scientific worlds met. These stories, where chemistry labs, tobacco plants, genetically edited bacteria, and new-to-nature enzymes collide with music, photography, film and visual arts, infuse the ongoing dialogue between art and sciences with grain, noise, and synergies.  

Einat Amir
Einat Amir.

Einat Amir, Artist/doctoral student at Aalto University 

Einat Amir is an artist, researcher and educator. She received her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and is currently a doctoral researcher in Aalto University’s Experience Platform, Department of Art and Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.

Amir's artworks are in the media of video installations and live performances synthesised with scientific experiments in social psychology and neuroscience. Her art practice examines emotional, social and political aspects of everyday communication between individuals and groups.

In her research she focuses on methodologies of collaboration between artists and scientists, proposing an innovative practice, in which both parties are equal forces, allowing themselves and each other the liberties to experiment outside their discipline. Amir's research and art-science collaborations aim to contribute to social change by finding new solutions for societal issues.

Ashish Mohite
Ashish Mohite.

Dr. Ashish Mohite, Hyperion Robotics  

Ashish has a PhD in Architecture and 3D printing and is currently co-founder and CTO of Hyperion Robotics. 

He has been a researcher in 3D printing for a decade, before that he worked as an architect in India, Germany and Finland.

Can concrete be sustainable? 

Concrete is the most used material on our planet after water. The main ingredients of it are cement (which contributes up to 8% of the global CO2) and sand (the most mined material on the planet). 

Unfortunately, at the moment there is no other material that can replace concrete in the construction industry – the only way is to use it more efficiently.  

Hyperion Robotics is a Finnish technology company formed by experts in engineering, construction, 3D printing and robotics. To build a better future we need to rethink the way we build.

Robin Gustafsson
Moderator Robin Gustafsson

Robin Gustafsson, Associate Professor of Strategic Management 

Our LASER Talk moderator Robin Gustafsson's research focuses on strategy, business, and policy in technology disruptions of industries and markets, the platform economy, data economy, and data and platform strategy. 

He also has an interest in impactful strategy workshops and has ongoing research on playfulness and visual sense-building in workshops and at workplaces. 

Robin is the leader of the visual sense-building tools and methods (Visentools) R2B-projects, and the informational infrastructures for accelerating mission-oriented policy (In2Mission) research project.

Robin Gustafsson is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University.


Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks is a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 50 cities and 5 continents worldwide.

Hybrid Stage events are tailored for simultaneous on-site and online participation. The venue has four robotic cameras that cover the whole event area. Please note that the audience might appear in the live stream and recordings.

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How to get to the Hybrid Stage?

  • The Hybrid Stage is at the Harald Herlin Learning Centre, on the Makerspace floor (K). Otaniementie 9, 02150 Espoo, Finland
  • Directions on Google Maps | Apple Maps | OpenStreetMap
Image of a fading garment: Garment design: Sofia Ilmonen, photo: Diana Luganski and visual design: Merle Karp


The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities worldwide.

Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova

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