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Designing smart digital worlds

At Aalto Online Learning, our radically creative approach has been to focus on community-building and designing engaging media, says Tomi Kauppinen.
a man smiling, wearing a dark red pullover
'It’s inspiring to engage with a wide range of media for learning skills, tools and new ways of thinking', tells Tomi Kauppinen. Photo: Jennifer Greb

Grand challenges and uncertainty in our world call for grand ideas. Understanding what is really happening around us, and making informed decisions requires superpowers and radical creativity. 

I teach the explorative information visualisation course at Aalto, where we take data, invent an idea for the visuals and learn methods to create visual stories for making sense of the world.

A good idea for a visualisation requires inspiring examples and an understanding of psychology as well as the available methods. 

Aalto online learning themes. Visualisation: Parvati Pillai and Lisa Staudinger
Aalto Online Learning approaches and themes. Visualisation: Parvati Pillai and Lisa Staudinger

Iterative design, agile and flexible development, frequent and well-argued feedback from peers and the educator can all help you both learn from others and keep your own vision alive through all the pivoting.

At Aalto Online Learning, our radically creative approach has been to focus on community-building and designing engaging media. Working in networked ways in very diverse communities is a requirement for designing truly unique, useful and smart digital solutions. Secondly, it’s inspiring to engage with a wide range of media for learning skills, tools and new ways of thinking.

‘Radical creativity is best helped by inspiring people from different fields to join forces for creating unique, yet well-argued designs."

Tomi Kauppinen

We benefit from online learning approaches that bravely cut across all schools at Aalto University: augmented and virtual reality, online social interaction, games and gamification, video production, blended learning, and online textbooks and automatic assessment.

Facing grand challenges can be helped by giving ourselves an activity to start with. I recently challenged myself to create a podcast to chat about information visualisation and the future of learning. Can you identify a challenge to spark your radical creativity?

Radical creativity starts from a dream, it starts from an idea, it starts from passion.

Tomi Kauppinen
Project leader
Aalto Online Learning
Docent
School of Science 

Keys to radical creativity by Tomi Kauppinen:

  • Early ideas 

  • Openness 

  • Trust 

  • Diversity of team members involved 

  • Freedom to create 

  • Big dreams 

  • Thinking of how the result will benefit the society 

  • Passion to deliver in an agile and iterative fashion 

Radical creativity

We build an outstanding creative community for new thinking.

Read more
Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova
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