IC-98 won the School of Business' building staircase invited art competition

The winning proposal creates a zone of silence from the busy staircase.
Aalto BIZ portaikkotaidekilpailun voittaja IC-98 Kuva: Marko Oikarinen
Artist Patrik Söderlund received the congratulations from Vice President Anna Valtonen. Image: Marko Oikarinen / Aalto University

The opening event of the School of Business' new main building in Otaniemi was held on Friday 10.5.2019. Building's public art collection, Human Approach, and the winning art proposal for the staircases were published at the event. The invited art competition sought to find exceptional and feasible proposals for artworks to be situated in three staircase spaces at the new School of Business building. Five artists and artist groups were invited to take part in the competition: IC-98, Pekka Paikkari, Riikka Puranen, Praneet Soi and Tatu Tuominen

The winning proposal Mare Tranquillatatis is by IC-98, Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää.

'The idea of the work is philosophically touching and interesting. The work of the internationally renowned artists challenges our relationship to space and time. It reminds us of the importance of silence and concentration, which is also a prerequisite for thinking and creating something new,' Vice Chair of Aalto University's Board and Director General of Nationalmuseum in Sweden, Docent Susanna Pettersson comments on the jury's choice. 

The selection was made by the jury consisting of Aalto University's Vice President of Arts and Creative Practices Anna Valtonen, art critic, gallerist and curator Veikko Halmetoja and School of Business' School Controller Jussi Välimäki, in addition to Pettersson.

Aalto BIZ portaikko Kuva: Roope Kiviranta
The competion sought proposals for three spiral staircases. Image: Roope Kiviranta / Aalto University

Depletion of natural resources and the pursuit of tranquility

'We look forward to seeing how the implementation of the work, and how the users of the building receive it. It is particularly important to acknowledge the long duration of our culture and of our wealth, well-being, and even the material foundation of our piece. The proximity to the earliest life of the Earth in the silence of the vacuum helps to understand our small and binding role in planetary order', say Söderlund and Suonpää.

The spiral staircases form a zone of complete silence that serves as a place of tranquility and a confrontational encounter in IC-98's competition proposal. The title of the work Mare Tranquillitatis refers to the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, which formed at the same time as life on Earth began. The staircase then becomes a zone of tranquility and silence. From the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, the Earth is seen a blue planet in the midst of a space vacuum: an iconic reminder of the only thing we all have together. 

The relationship between human and nature as a source of inspiration

Though their practice is essentially conceptual, IC-98 is best known for animations, which combine classical drawing and digital effects, depicting landscapes shaped by long time durations, natural and human histories and climate. Their most know piece is the House of Khronos in Pöytyä, where a farmyard has been returned to its rightful owner, the Earth. IC-98’s recent work addresses the themes of environmental destruction and the future of our planet in a post-human world.

The piece embodies Human Approach, the theme of the building's public art, which aims to create an inclusive and dialogical experience and to create an open and low hierarchy working and learning environment. The art concept Human approach respects the past, still keeping an eye on the future. The art concept for School of Business was co-created by Aalto University’s Art Coordinator Outi Turpeinen with the students and staff of School of Business. 

More information  
Outi Turpeinen  
Aalto University, Art Coordinator
[email protected]  
050 4314194   

In 2017, Aalto University decided to comply with a one per cent art principle in its building projects. The art percent is a funding model for art purchases, where approximately one per cent of a building project's funds are allocated to art purchases. The one per cent art principle was first applied to Radical Nature art concept in Aalto University’s main building Dipoli. The vision of public art at Aalto University is to address and raise questions about what it is to be a university, what we do together in society, and what constitutes the public. Public art is site-specific and connects with the diversity of the university and its post-disciplinary communities. Public artworks reflect this diversity through different art forms, materials, techniques and traditions.

The School of Business' new main building was opened in February 2019. School of Business building is a part of a larger building block, and it’s two other parts are Väre, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s new building and the shopping centre A Bloc. The block was designed by Verstas Architects, consisting of alumni of Aalto University, which won the international architectural competition held 2012-2013. The main designer is Jussi Palva from Verstas Architects and the other main architects are Väinö NikkiläRiina PalvaIlkka Salminen and Mikko Rossi

Kauppakorkeakoulun kierreportaat Kuva: Roope Kiviranta / Aalto-yliopisto

School of Business building staircase invited art competition

New artwork will be located in the newest building on campus.

Renata Jakowleff «Blue» 2017, 190 x 160 x 40 cm, glass and steel, assembled Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Public art collections at Aalto University

The aim of public art across Aalto is to create a vibrant environment for experiencing the world through various perspectives and for embracing imagination, intuition, and exploration.

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