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"Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future" - experiences from a two-year exhibition tour

Produced and coordinated by Aalto University’s Department of Design, the exhibition has taught staff and students a lot of the industry and cooperation.
Future Ceramics: savityöpaja Aallossa 2018.

The "Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future" exhibition, after touring in seven cities throughout Europe, has now closed in its last venue in Prague 11 November.

What has the experience given and what are the lessons learned?

“Our key collaborative partners have been international museums and thus we have learned much about museum practicalities. To be honest, it is quite a different world we are used to see as artists or designers who just display their works in the museums. One of the most positive thing for us was that during the project we all - professors, researchers, lecturers, studio masters and students from the Department of Design and ADDlab - worked side by side towards a shared goal” says professor Maarit Mäkelä, the project leader.

The exhibition project was a collaboration with Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (DE), University of Ulster (NI) and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (DK). Most of the exhibition works were selected through an open call to the students of the four partner universities, but also selected professionals were invited to participate in the exhibition.

"The experience gave me new useful contacts and job opportunities, such as designing and implementing packaging design and other exhibition projects. We also gained academic experience by giving a conference presentation with Saija Halko in Stoke-On-Trent in autumn last year. It's amazing how fast two years has passed - we just started with sending out the art works from Fiskars", says Tuuli Saarelainen, MA student in Product & spatial design Programme.

The exhibition was first displayed in Fiskars (FI) and it has since toured in Selb (DE), Portadown (NI), at the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent (UK), in Berlin (DE), in Ljubljana (SI) and in Prague (CZ).

"When working in a field of ceramics, the network and the connections that have come through the project have been very important. I believe these contacts will be even more relevant in the future. I've learned a lot of project management  of an EU cultural project, as well as of cultural differences that affect the contents of the project and its management", says project co-ordinator, doctoral candidate Priska Falin.

Student contributions: Saija Halko, Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä, Tuuli Saarelainen, Vesa Kattelus, Salla Luhtasela, Wesley Walters and Monica Romagnoli.

Staff contributions: Maarit Mäkelä, Anna van der Lei, Nathalie Lautenbacher and Priska Falin.

Read more of the experiences gained, written by Research Assistant Minerva Juolahti: “Shaping the Future Exhibition – Touring Around Europe for Two Years” (Empirica research group website)

More information:

Exhibition website

Ceramics and its Dimensions EU project 

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