What's the future made of?

Planet-friendly alternatives for materials, mindsets and architecture for Life 1.5
Black font stating "What's the future made of?" and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

We own countless items and products in our daily lives. Even if you rarely buy things and use them for as long as possible, they eventually have to be replaced. Even the walls and ceilings of our homes are made from enormous amounts of raw materials. The problem is that the globe cannot provide the resources for endless consumption. 

We need innovations that push us towards a circular economy – a lifestyle where items and materials can be reused endlessly. This means better alternatives to plastic water bottles, safe methods for recycling plastic and demolition waste, and plant-based materials that won’t end up in landfills.

In  Life 1.5, we leave no trace

Explore these science and design collaborations that pave the road towards a better future. Welcome to visit the exhibitions also in person during 7.9. - 12.10. (Väre, Otaniementie 14 and satellite exhibitions in Helsinki city centre).


Coral installation by Megan McGlynn

Second Nature by CHEMARTS

CHEMARTS showcases nature-inspired material projects by students and alumni in this Cooler Planet exhibition.

Composite image of six different wood-waste-based sculpture projects

Re-valuing wood – another look at wood and the forest

How can we use wood resources thoughtfully and preserve our natural forest environment? Six student project teams explored the potential of cascading demolition wood waste, through panels made of this potentially valuable resource.

Image of three building blocks

Building blocks of a better future

This exhibition showcases several ways in which different materials can be used sustainably as new building blocks.

Infographic of the NONTOX project

NONTOX – Improving circularity of plastics

This exhibition showcases NONTOX project results through informative posters and student concept ideas.

A web-like biomaterial on a bright substrate

Facilitating the future of sustainable textiles and packaging: Aalto University Bioinnovation Center

Aalto University Bioinnovation Center presents projects in sustainable bio-based textiles and packaging, combining design, business and technology in a radically creative way.


Buildings and architecture

Alusta pavilion

Alusta pavilion – Environmentally conscious architecture

A place for encounters between humans and non-human animals.

Image representing the Sami culture

Interplay of Cultures Studio 2022 Sámi: Architecture that leaves no trace in the environment

The Interplay of Cultures 2022 studio is a masters level course at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Architecture. This year the studio explored Sámi cultures and their way of relating to our material reality.

Josh Krute with the Pikku Finlandia tree designs

The Trees of Pikku Finlandia

This exhibition by Josh Krute at Pikku Finlandia Hall in Töölö features relief prints made from cross sections of the building's unique pine tree pillars.

Sustainable acoustic materials

Towards carbon negative acoustic environments in buildings

Experience how biofibre-based acoustic panels clear the sound environment. The carbon-negative acoustic panels developed by our research team increase comfort in any space by reducing disturbing sounds.


Mindsets and practices

Nine students wearing bright colours carrying notebooks walking down a street with buildings in the background

From dreams to action! Stories from Sustainable Global Technologies Programme

An interactive exhibition captures the spirit of student experiences in real-world learning, tackling sustainable challenges with partners from the Global South.

Nocturne: Sea Altar at the Atmospheres Deep exhibition (image credit: Isabel Beavers).

CreaTures – Creative Practices for Transformational Futures

The exhibition presents seven experimental productions from the CreaTures Laboratory – a collection of art and design projects aiming to foster positive eco-social change.

Lähikuva käsistä, jotka kiinnittävät kankaasta tehtyjä kukkia kanaverkkoon

Pollinator's delight: a participatory art piece from textile waste promoting biodiversity

In The Aalto University Junior’s project, textile waste is turned into a collective art piece representing the importance of the meadows.

Students sitting in a class room

Designing Experiential Futures for 1.5 Degree Lifestyles

The Design Futures course introduces Aalto University students to the various ways in which design and futures fields intersect. This exhibition introduces experiential futures of lifestyle 1.5 through objects, artifacts and video.

Sustainability through entrepreneurship poster

Sustainability Through Entrepreneurship

Showcases prototypes of sustainability solutions through entrepreneurship developed by the students of the Aalto Ventures Programme Spring 2022. 


Designs for a Cooler Planet 2022: Life 1.5

Read more about our main theme and explore the projects of the other sub-themes:

Life 1.5 in black font and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

Life 1.5 – an exhibition of planet-friendly materials, fashion and food

Designs for a Cooler Planet is a five-week-long festival celebrating experiments in planet-friendly materials, fashion, and food.

Black font stating "Wear the future." and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

Wear the future!

Slow and more sustainable textiles, clothing and fashion systems.

Black font stating "What's on the menu?" and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

What's on the menu?

Better alternatives for food, food systems and packaging.


The event is a part of Helsinki Design Week’s official festival programme and a World Circular Economy Forum 2022 (WCEF) side event. Aalto University is also one of the EU's New European Bauhaus partners.

#ACoolerPlanet #HelsinkiDesignWeek #NewEuropeanBauhaus #WCEF2022

Designs for a Cooler Planet
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