The awards 2020
Research Award: Kirsi Niinimäki
Professor Kirsi Niinimäki has the ability to make the impossible possible. Her many research efforts are implementing a systemic, sustainable approach in the textiles and fashion industry. Sustainability starts with material, colour and production method choices and reaches new business models as well as a new consumer behaviour model. Kirsi’s multifaceted, transdisciplinary research is rooted in design. It makes an impact through national and international visibility.
Teacher Award: Matti Niinimäki
Lecturer Matti Niinimäki leads the major in New Media Design & Production within the Department of Media. Matti has proven to have broad critical insight and technical expertise, which have been applied to the challenges that have been faced by students, especially, since the school’s transfer to Väre. Before the Corona crisis hit us all, Matti was a key person in advancing the students’ requirements for programme Home Bases and in working with colleagues in technical services and Aalto Studios towards ensuring that students’ independent studies and related production could be better facilitated. This effort has been to the benefit of all the students of ARTS.
Matti is a well-liked colleague and a teacher who has received the praise of students for his outstanding and often time-consuming efforts in facilitating their work and improving their working environment. Similarly, Matti’s knowledge, expertise, insight and his personal, diplomatic style in tackling day to day challenges has brought praise from colleagues, throughout the organisation.
During the Corona times Matti helped in providing possibilities for our students to have a more humane, and more informal community than one that is limited to endless lectures and tutorials in Zoom. There’s no doubt that Matti is a teacher who truly cares for his students and constantly facilitates their creative work.
Act of the Year: Iiris Kauppila and the ARTS LES Team
The Corona pandemic has severely impacted our education and teaching arrangements during the past year. Manager of Academic Affairs Iiris Kauppila and the whole ARTS LES team handled the challenges promptly. They ensured the continuity of our educational operations, while at the same time successfully supporting the Teaching Evaluation Exercise, which coincided with this dire time of social distancing.
Alumna of the Year: Zaida Bergroth
Zaida Bergroth is an ELO graduate, multi-time Jussi nominee and one-time winner, with several films in some of the most important festivals in the world. A director known for both her cinematic talent and ability to keep up a positive, creative atmosphere in the often stressful situations in film shoots. She is also a regular and well liked visitor in ELO film school, generously giving her time to aspiring film makers whenever her schedule allows. Her latest film got great reviews from critics and has also been an audience success, which will certainly continue after cinemas re-open. The film is of course Tove, the wonderful biopic about Tove Jansson and the talented director Zaida Bergroth!
Success Enabler: Eino Paananen
Study coordinator Eino Paananen has given a remarkable input in the flow of the Bachelor programmes of the Department of Architecture. His collaborative, positive and analytical way of working has had a positive impact in, for example, study times. Eino’s work keeps up the high quality of the Department’s BA studies. Eino is the tireless, just and kind expert all of our lecturers need to perform in the best possible way.
On top of his work at the Department of Architecture, Eino has contributed to the induction of new teachers at School level. He has carried out this important task in a very teacher-oriented manner and has helped new teachers from different departments to get to know each other in joint orientation sessions.
Dissertation Award: David Muñoz Alcantara
The ARTS dissertation award is presented to David Muñoz Alcantara for his doctoral thesis Aesthetic Praxis in Translation - Introduction and Translation of Alberto HíjarSerrano's: Aesthetic Praxis. The Aesthetic Dimension of Liberation. Muñoz Alcantara’s dissertation is an innovative research that introduces translation as artistic practice, scientific methodology and arts-based inquiry. The dissertation is a rigorous, original and significant contribution to knowledge in the fields of artistic research. It does not only introduce new knowledge on Mexican cultural theorist Alberto Híjar Serrano’s work but it also proposes a new approach to research, and new methodologies of artistic inquiry and creation in a creative and unique way.
Artistic Activity Award: Hanna Weselius
In addition to actively developing course-based teaching and serving her students, University lecturer Hanna Weselius has written numerous articles for international and domestic publications, as well as published two brilliant novels.
Loyal to herself, Hanna only deals with current and important issues. In 2016, the mycelial novel Alma! was published, which won both the Helsingin Sanomat's ‘First Book Award’ and the ‘Tulenkantaja’ award. Later, at the turn of the year, we got to read excellent reviews of her new novel, The Rainbow Stairs (Sateenkaari Portaat, WSOY 2020). Hanna Weselius has an unshakable ability to make visible the strange phenomena of our time. At the same time, her works are surprising, amusing and delightful with their original expression.
Hanna is definitely an advocate for just causes and an active player who lets her creativity expand into the community. She curated the Polku collection of photographs by photography students and alumni, whose works were made available for loan at the Töölö Library throughout 2020. An experimental collection of short stories is also currently underway, which will also involve several students. All this diversity serves the photography programme of the Department of Media and the teaching of the whole school in an excellent way.