U-Create 2020: Creativity amid Crisis

U-Create 2020 is an online event across two days, examining different pedagogical, research and industry responses to creativity during times of crisis. The online programme will take place between 10:00-15:00 featuring a programme of keynotes and flashtalks. See the full schedule below.

U-CREATE 2020: Creativity amid Crisis. Graphic Design by Heini Hälinen
U-CREATE 2020: Creativity amid Crisis. Graphic Design by Heini Hälinen

U-CREATE 2020: Creativity amid Crisis

This year, the U-CREATE seminar will explore the context and conditions of Creativity amid Crisis. Expanding from its previous lecture hall format, the 2020 event will take place online and convene researchers and practitioners from the Aalto community and internationally with each day having a specific focus on pedagogy and creative practices in the field.

Day 1 begins with a dynamic rhythm of keynote speakers and flashtalks from across the six schools of the Aalto community, focusing on experiences of creativity amid crisis from a pedagogical perspective. 

Day 2 expands to include international research and developments in the field of art and creative practices including presentations from cultural funding strategies and the transition of arts organisations to online operative models as well as epidemiological knowledge related to risk and representation. 

The online programme will take place between 10:00-15:00 on the 23rd and 24th of November, participants are able to attend at any point. Register your interest to attend and see the schedule for each day for more details. 

For more information:

Registrations are open at

The U-Create Seminar is free and open to members of the Aalto community as well as to the general public. Students are encouraged to attend. 


U Create 2020: Creativity amid Crisis

Day one: Creativity amid Crisis - Pedagogy 

Is it possible to define creativity and teach or learn it? In which ways? How do we understand creativity and teach it in different areas, such as business, technology or arts? The first day of the U-Create seminar aims to advance Aalto University’s creative pedagogy by sharing experiences that come directly from Aalto’s campus, connected networks, and communities. The main objective is to nurture an evolving discussion on teaching and practicing creativity across fields, and to explore how creativity is currently being understood through different perspectives.  It also aims to understand the relevance given to creativity among other crucial skills of our age. The programme presents teaching practices around themes of creativity, including discussion on both the failures and successes of various approaches, and reflecting on how to be creative in these unprecedented times. Moreover, amid pandemics and environmental disasters that do not appear to have possible solutions how can creative education thrive?

Day two: Creativity amid Crisis - In the field

Day two of this year’s U-Create seminar will provide insight from across the field of creative practices which explore the function of the interface in times of Creativity amid Crisis. One of last year’s U-Create keynotes ‘The unbearable cleanliness of creativity’ by Nishant Shah focused on the structure of authorship, authority and authenticity in the creative complex. It highlighted that creativity is not a neutral process but a continually contentious form of production and reproduction. Creativity in the digital realm of online connectivity can render the limits of permission visible as new ideas and forms are approved or limited by regulation. The creative act requires not only the act of recognition but the integration of ethics and care to operate in this way. As computational systems are increasingly being adopted by institutions, replacing disciplines with protocols, is creativity becoming a protocol in a system with an increasingly computational logic? What are the impacts of this on the creative disciplines of art, architecture and design? As our access to information contracts around the frame of our screens, how are the interfaces and computational representations of data shaping our understanding of the world and our expression of creativity?

The webinar link will be emailed to registered participants. Please click here to register for the event

The U-Create seminars are organised Arts and Creative Practices, a joint-strategic initiative of Aalto University. This year’s event is coordinated by Designer-in-Residence Andrea Bandoni and Aalto Curators Edel O’ Reilly and Bilge Hasdemir. Assistant support by Verna Kuusniemi. Graphic Design by Heini Hälinen.


MONDAY 23.11.2020 // 10:00 - 15:00

Day one: Creativity amid Crisis - Pedagogy 

10:00 - Welcome words by Art and Creative Practices 

10:10 - Opening by Petri Suomala, Vice President of Education, Aalto University

10:25 - Keynote by Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL) - 25 min

10:50 - Q & A - 10 min

11:00 - Flash Talks: 4 x 10 min each

11:00 - Henri Weijo (BIZ) Teaching Creativity Has Probably Made Me a Luddite

11:10 - Katja Hölttä-Otto (ENG) Mechanisms of Creativity 

11:20 - Kushagra Bhatnagar (BIZ) Creativity as Cultural Critique: Using Critical Theory to Teach Creativity 

11:30 -  Tua Björklund & Senni Kirjavainen (ENG)The human side of responsible creativity

11:40 - Q & A - 20 min

12:00 - LUNCH BREAK - 1 hour

13:00 - Keynote by Andy Best - Aalto University (ARTS) 25 min

13:25 -  Q & A - 10 minutes

13:40 - Flash Talks: 4 x 10 min each 

13:40 - Tim Smith (ARTS) Teaching Toward Reframing Creative Economy in the Arts

13:50 - Tomi Kauppinen (SCI) Learning about information visualization via exploring and creativity

14:00 - Patrizia Hongisto (BIZ) How many boundaries does creativity need?

14:10 - Jaan Praks (ELEC) Creating Space Missions with Students

14:20 - Q & A - 20 min

14:40 - Closing remarks from the Art & Creative Practices Team


TUESDAY 24.11.2020 // 10:00 - 15:00

Day two: Creativity amid Crisis - In the field

10:00 - Welcome words by Tuomas Auvinen, Dean, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University - 10 min  

10:15 - Avner Peled, ‘Teleported Narratives’ - 20 mins

10:40 - Anastasia Mccammon, Xarkis NGO and ‘Everything Flows’ interaktiivinen online taiteilijaresidenssi- 40 mins 

11:25 - Anna Talasniemi, Executive Director of Kone Foundation, HOME Residencies  - 20 mins

11:50 - Q&A moderated by Aalto Curators Edel O’ Reilly & Bilge Hasdemir  - 20 mins

12:15 - Outi Turpeinen introduces new public art work 'Mare Tranquillitatis' by artist group IC98 video - 5 mins

12:20 - LUNCH BREAK - 40 min

13:00 - Adina Renner - Wall of silence project - 20 mins

13:25 - Prof Gerry Kearns, ‘Risk and Representation: the iconography of epidemiological knowledges under crisis' - 40 mins

14:10 - Q&A moderated by Aalto Curators Edel O’ Reilly & Bilge Hasdemir  - 30 mins

14:45 - Thanks and closing remarks from the Art & Creative Practices Team


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