This issue’s theme is trial and error

Aalto University Magazine 26 examines how you can learn from failure.
Aalto Magazine 26 -numeron englanninkielisiä ja suomenkielisiä lehtiä pöydällä
Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Even though we are going through exceptional times, the basic functions of the University – education and research – continue, says President Ilkka Niemelä in this issue’s Openings column. ‘Communal activities have just shifted from face-to-face meetings to contact over the net and phone.’

Niemelä says the keys to success in these extraordinary conditions will be found from the University’s values, which have been recorded in Aalto’s new strategy that enters into force next year: ‘Responsibility, courage and collaboration. We are already realising all of them, and they will help us get through this difficult situation as well.’ 

Aalto University’s tenth anniversary celebrations are covered on the pages of this issue. A photo compilation takes us back to the community’s tenth birthday party in Dipoli last January. We also recall how the University logo was created together with designer Rasmus Snabb, whose submission Invitation won the logo design competition in May 2009. If you don’t remember what Aalto’s logo was originally supposed to be like, go check out this piece!

In the main article, four experts tell us what they’ve learned from their failures. In the work of photographic artist Sanna Kannisto, for example, patience, persistent repetition and often also chance play a key role. ‘A typical shoot can last about eight hours, during which I’ll make up to 200-250 frames of six to seven birds. If I make one image that I am satisfied with that day, it’s a good result.’ 

The Who column interviews Finnish Shipowners' Association CEO and Aalto alumna Tiina Tuurnala. She lobbies for sea transports where, as in all sectors of traffic, the improvement of environment-friendliness and safety is a crucial issue.

A new column called On the go recounts the journey of Pasi Herranen and his invention. The road this engineering graduate travelled from playing poker professionally to developing a new kind of wood-structured windowless greenhouse has been dotted with many instances of trial and error. A prototype of his design will be erected at a Natural Resources Institute Finland research centre in Piikkiö this summer and the first heads of lettuce will be sprouting soon thereafter.

Wood also plays the key role in this issue’s On science article, which reviews the opportunities the green gold of Finland’s forests offer for construction. These little wonders of wood can, if wisely employed, help curb climate change.

Aalto University Magazine is published in Finnish and English. Access a facsimile through Some articles are also available on

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