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The first Design Factory in North America celebrated its opening

The partnership between the Aalto and Philadelphia universities gets stronger as PhilaU Nexus Design Factory is launched.
Professor Kalevi Ekman, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Rich Negrin, PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. and PhilaU Vice President for Innovation D.R. Widder (left to right) officially open the PhilaU Nexus Design Factory.

The newest member of the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN) was officially introduced to the world when Philadelphia University Nexus Design Factory (PNDF) opened on Friday, 11 September. The official launch was organized to coincide PhilaU’s interdisciplinary industry-facing Nexus Maximus event taking place from Friday to Monday.

Design Factory is the symbiosis of the state-of-the-art conceptual thinking and cross-disciplinary hands-on doing. It leads a way towards a paradigm shift in education and business by providing a constantly developing collaboration environment for students, researchers and business practitioners.

Founder of Aalto Design Factory professor Kalevi “Eetu” Ekman warmly welcomes the new member to the network.

– It’s a great pleasure to salute the Philadelphia University as the founder of the first Design Factory in North America. We already share experiences from a joint entrepreneurial education program, and PhilaU students have successfully participated the Aalto University product development course as well. As we all know it’s not the first time in history when Philadelphia is the place of initiative. I’m proudly looking forward for further cooperation with the new Design Factory family member. All you need is love, design, engineering, and business!

Innovation and opportunities

D.R. Widder, Vice President of Innovation at PhilaU explains, that joining the DFGN means joining a wonderful community of kindred spirits in innovation. Moreover for PhilaU students it creates new opportunities, as there will be an increase in new international industry projects and international students to collaborate with.

– We will use it as a base for DFGN collaboration on industry projects, and university to university and student to student projects, he says.

Tod Corlett, the director of industrial design programs in PhilaU, sees the DFGN as a great vehicle for international collaboration as the network lowers the barriers to collaboration, changing the question from ‘How can we collaborate?’ to ‘What’s a good problem to work on?’.

The immediate goal of PNDF is to increase international exposure of PhilaU students by having a significant number of students working on international industry projects hosted at DFGN partner universities, as well as increasing the number of semester and academic year exchange projects. The development work within the PNDF will include developing innovation collaboration content and tools that are used across the network.

PhilaU students have been involved with Aalto activities since 2012 by participating to Product Development Project-course hosted at Aalto Design Factory. In the last two years, students from Aalto Ventures Program have taken part in Nexus Maximus, a university-wide intensive sprint project at PhilaU.

More about PhilaU here

More about Design Factory Global Network here

Questions? Contact:
Viljami Lyytikäinen
[email protected]

 

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