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Significant grant from the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation for the Development of Design Education

The generous support from the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation ensures that the design education continues to meet the needs of both students and society in the best possible way also in the future.
Työelämäprofessori Irina Viippola
MA Irina Viippola has been appointed to the professorship of practice enabled by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation. Image: Janne Vesterinen

The Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation has granted a €290,000 grant to the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture for the establishment of a five-year professorship of practice in strategic industrial design. The part-time professorship focuses on providing education in practical design expertise and strategic decision-making.

"We greatly appreciate the determined work of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation in promoting design culture, and we are pleased that our goals for the development of the field align. The professorship of practice helps the School of Arts, Design and Architecture to strengthen its current high-quality design education and ensure that the education offered continues to meet the needs of both students and society in the best possible way in the future," rejoices Dean Tuomas Auvinen

Irina Viippola appointed as the Professor of Practice 

MA Irina Viippola has been appointed to the professorship of practice enabled by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Centennial Foundation. Viippola has had a long career as a designer and project manager in companies, working with well-known brands such as Fiskars, Iittala, and Arabia. Viippola's role as a professor of practice is crucial in supporting education and research in the field, as well as transferring practical expertise from the business world to the academia.

"It is very important to bring up-to-date perspectives from the business world into education and research. In this position, I am looking forward to contributing to the dialogue between the university and the business world," says Viippola.

Viippola hopes that the designers would focus not only on digital environments and services but also on good physical design.

"It is essential to teach students how to turn concepts into reality. Design is not solely about design of services or experiences. Practical design expertise and the ability to think with hands are still essential parts of it. Moving from planning to implementation and production is challenging and sometimes difficult. It is also important to consider sustainable development perspectives in design, such as the use of materials and energy and their environmental impacts."

As a work-life professor, Viippola hopes to promote multidisciplinary collaboration within Aalto University. She strongly believes in combining expertise from various areas and collaborating with professionals from different fields.

"By combining different perspectives, we can see multiple aspects of things and achieve great results. This new professorship offers a fantastic opportunity to develop collaboration."

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