World Cultural Council awarded Professor Kalevi Ekman, Founder of Design Factory
Kalevi Ekman, Professor of Machine Design at Aalto University and the founder of the Design Factory, has been granted the Jose Vasconcelos World Award of Education by the World Cultural Council (WCC).
The award is given as a recognition for the international and human approach he has brought to university education as well as for his visionary and inspiring ideas that have made the Design Factory concept an important teaching and learning platform that brings together students, researchers and companies. Ekman is an esteemed mentor and teacher, who has promoted multidisciplinary and crosscultural collaboration and, for 20 years, has carried out pioneering work for the development of learning methods that encourage entrepreneurship, support teamwork and engage students.
‘I am extremely pleased that the recognition has been given particularly to learning and to the work carried out with students. As professor, I often feel inadequate and unsure, but working with the students, we have managed to achieve more than I have ever dreamt about,’ Ekman says.
‘This recognition definitely belongs to the amazing group of people at the Design Factory, which is the best, funniest and toughest work community I have ever worked in. Aalto University has invested a lot in teaching and learning, and I’m very proud that this recognition was given to us,’ adds Ekman, also known as ‘Eetu’.
On five continents
The Design Factory network, which has spread across the world from Otaniemi, currently has as many as ten research and learning environments for product development on five different continents.
Each year, about 40 courses involving 1 200 students include projects at Aalto Design Factory. The Design Factory is visited by over 10 000 guests yearly, among them hundreds of teachers and many heads of state, and several scientific publications, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations are written every year about the pedagogical methods used there.
This year, the 33rd award ceremony of the World Cultural Council (WCC) will be organised in Riga in Latvia on Friday, 14 October. The ceremony will be held at the National Library of Latvia in conjunction with the 154th anniversary of Riga Technical University (RTU) and the University Scientific Conference.
The World Cultural Council (WCC) awarded this year’s Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Professor Edward Witten, an American mathematician and physicist.
Professor Kalevi Ekman
tel. +358 50 555 3566
Video Kalevi Ekman speaks about the ideas behind Design Factory