News

Fiskars partners in design exploration with Aalto University

The cooperation between Fiskars and Aalto University started in 2017 by defining shared interest areas in the long term, and first concrete projects started in 2018.
Aalto experimental glass pattern. Glass bubbles form a map / photo by Eeva Suorlahti

”We have been working to open up new thinking, especially to do with a core materials such as glass and ceramics. This year we had four projects with Aalto University and the four brands of Fiskars Scandinavian Living Business: Iittala, Arabia, Rörstrand, and Royal Copenhagen. Working with a group of students helped show the possibilities of what could be possible, in an experimental way,” says Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Fiskars Scandinavian Living Business.

The cooperation between Fiskars and Aalto University started in 2017 by defining shared interest areas in the long term, and first concrete study projects started in 2018.

“Fiskars wants to be innovative in our business planning and use new processes and technologies in order to make the consumer’s life better and more unique. With this cooperation, we feel that we have our finger on the pulse of innovation and are able to bring into use these technologies,” explains Leni Valsta, Vice President of Fiskars Scandinavian Living Business.

Portrait of Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Fiskars

Working with a group of students helped show the possibilities of what could be possible.

Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Fiskars

Why cooperate with Aalto University?

“We work with designers and creative agencies which help us open the future. Working with groups of students helped in a different way to create a volume of ideas generated by the students and guided by a professor with a background in the subject and materials, not to mention the new facilities and equipment at the Otaniemi campus,” says Tesolin.

The Experimental Design course leader, designer Anna van der Lei was involved in making a concrete proposal for Fiskars about how we could start exploring glass as a material. The collaboration is very beneficial especially to the students, who hear feedback directly from industry.

“Collaboration has also given us access to extra resources for the course, such as enabling us to work in the glass workshop with professional glass blowers,” van der Lei explains. She supervises an exhibition of three study projects that will be on display at the Arabia Design Center and Iittala flagship store in Amos Rex during Helsinki Design Week 2019.

Cooperation has exceeded expectations

Tesolin is pleased with the outcome of the course, and has decided to further develop three of the projects which were created by the students during the Experimental Glass project, and also two projects from the Colours Materials Design course. “The outcome of the courses has been more than what we expected, and we’re continuing to develop the work further with the design students. It proved to be a great way to open up new thinking and help develop the brands further, and to create internal momentum around innovation and experimental design within Fiskars as a company.”

“Fiskars is a fantastic company because they understand the added value university and student collaboration has” says Pirita Posti, key account manager from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Posti has been actively involved in defining the common ground for the study projects. “The value and respect towards the students and academic knowledge are also high.”

Text: Tiina Toivola.
Photo of the artwork above: A material experiment by Design MA student Sushant Passi. Photographer: Eeva Suorlahti.

More information:

Pirita Posti
Manager, Corporate Relations, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

+358 50 364 6381
[email protected]

Close up of glowing glass in thin lines on the floor of the Aalto University glass studio.
Experimenting at Aalto University's Glass Workshop. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti
  • Published:
  • Updated:

Read more news

A logo. Photo: Mikko Raskinen
Appointments, Cooperation Published:

Introducing three new professors at the School of Electrical Engineering

Assistant Professors Gopika Premsankar and Johannes Arend and Associate Professor (tenured) Marko Kosunen were appointed to the career path of professors during January-June 2024.
Jar full of coins representing Unite! Seed Fund.
Cooperation, Research & Art, Studies Published:

Call for proposals: Unite! Seed Fund to foster collaborative teaching

This call is for setting up joint/collaborative teaching formats in Unite! focus areas. Apply by end of August 2024.
Sophie Belanger on the left and Ferdinand Keil on the right sitting on a sofa  and chatting
Cooperation Published:

Erasmus Staff Training: A deep dive into joint programmes and wellbeing

Over 30 participants from 17 universities gathered at the Aalto University campus early June for the Erasmus Staff Training Days.
Aalto University Junior technology workshop
Cooperation, Research & Art, University Published:

Automation Foundation donates to Aalto University Junior

Automation Foundation donates to Aalto University Junior. A donation of twenty thousand euros has been targeted at the purchase of virtual glasses and the renewal of robotics.