What can you already see of the future?

At the start of the academic year, the Aalto University campus welcomes everyone with open doors. Through the month-long Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition and events, you will discover fascinating research projects.
Designs for a Cooler Planet -näyttelyt ovat kaikille avoimia. kuva: Kalle Kataila
Photo: Kalle Kataila

Scientific language might seem complicated, but it is complemented by interdisciplinary research and teaching that employ experimental methods. Experiments allow us to observe what we can improve or how things work in practice in relation to the original ideas.

Design learning is based on joint experimentation, creating prototypes, co-creation and user orientation, and it is a part of the Finnish national curriculum.

Examining the prototypes offers an opportunity to think about what kind of future we want to build. What could the fashion of the future be like, the treatment of depression or brain infarction, food production or construction, for example?

Current design processes require systemic thinking: choices regarding manufacturing materials, repairability, and consideration of environmental impacts during manufacturing, use, and recycling. Already in the planning phase, we must actively consider how we can support nature and its life-sustaining processes to renew and regenerate.

This year, the theme of Cooler Planet is invisible. What don’t we see, even though we should? What steps, processes, and resources are required for the production of the artefacts around us; piles of waste, emissions, and truckloads of transported soil – or experiments, failures, and valuable lessons learned.

Discover the experiments that make the future visible. Invite your colleague, students or friend with whom you can exchange ideas and insights. You can see, for example, a clay-based alternative to concrete, a magnetic stimulation device used in the treatment of brain diseases, textiles made from lupine, a hyperspectral sensor that supports cultivation and a wooden greenhouse element, as well as a prototype of a mobile magnetic resonance imaging device.

Designs for a Cooler Planet brings together Aalto University's research-based projects for the fifth time. You can reserve a place for guided exhibition tours or tour the exhibitions independently.

Feedback from our previous years: 

  • "The broad scope and multidisciplinary nature surprised me. I didn't know that these kinds of projects are done in Finland, in Espoo." 
  • "The event changed my understanding of innovation, multidisciplinarity and design." 
  • "My brain twisted into a new position" 
  • "It's wonderful to see that good things are being researched here."

More information:

Enni Äijälä  
Specialist, partners and outreach 
+358 50 359 4810 
[email protected] 

Tiina Toivola
Communications, radical creativity  
+358 50 326 0300

Wood crystals on a black fabric.

Designs for a Cooler Planet

This fall, the festival celebrates innovative and collaborative designs addressing the impossible sustainability challenges. Experience tomorrow in Otaniemi on 6 Sept – 3 Oct 2024!

Designs for a Cooler Planet 2023 main visual with Events title.

Designs for a Cooler Planet 2023 – Events programme

Welcome and participate in Designs for a Cooler Planet 2023 through a variety of different events, from live talk shows to webinars, workshops and guided exhibition tours.

Cooler Planet

Book a visit: Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibitions

Join the guided exhibition tours to experience Helsinki Design Week at Aalto University.

Alumnit kierroksella 2021

Designs for a Cooler Planet tours for alumni

Designs for a Cooler Planet 2023: Invisible festival guided tours for alumni 13.9.-5.10.

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