Aalto University students of the Material and Production Technology Industrial Design BA2 course have worked with glass at the university’s renowned Glass studio. On the course students were assigned to find their own meaning for expression “VIP” and create an individual project around it. They could produce for example tableware design, lighting design or a unique object.
“There are many different ways to comprehend the word VIP. Normally it stands for very important person. However, it can be very important product or very important problem.
Objective of the project is to create discussion about today’s important issues for students.
They may vary and can be for example a personal matter, problems related to their study or global environmental issues”, explains course teacher Kazushi Nakada the idea for the exhibition.
The main purpose of the course was to get to know different material and production technologies and to understand the logic and features of each material. Specifically glass as a material was examined. Although the students are not yet able to blow their own products at this stage, blowing exercises give an idea of the many aspects that affect the process.
"I learned a lot about materials and about working with glass. I went through a number of different conceptual designs, mold designs and alternative techniques before I found a way to combine the things I wanted. In particular, combining multiple colors in a controlled manner to the same object posed challenges, which meant that I could only complete the test series for the final product during the course", explains BA student Jenny Lagus.
The VIP project is a cooperation of three universities, i.e. Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design from Poland, Kougei department at Tokyo University of the Arts from Japan, and the Glass studio at the Design department of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Working with other universities happened mainly by email communication and by sending pictures. Students from the Tokyo Academy of Arts will submit videos based on their on-going projects.
Universities introduced their approach to glass material and technologies in the field of art and design. Students had an opportunity to compare them and take advantage of other teaching methodologies and materials, which is the objective of the project. The idea for the course was that activity of experiment and research is one way to find a new concept for using the old materials such as stone, wood or glass.
“Glass is old material--small items have been found from 4000 BC--but it is rather new material for art and design education in the universities. It began to be used only in 1960’s in Europe. The studies developed rapidly globally through 80’s and 90S’s. Today, glass is used not only for traditional functional design but also for various art and design purposes”, tells project leader Kazushi Nakada.
Venue: Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Lobby gallery