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Yrjö Sotamaa receives a Chinese Friendship Award

Professor Emeritus Yrjö Sotamaa has received today the Chinese Government Friendship Award from the Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai.

It is the People's Republic of China's highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress.  This year’s Friendship Award were awarded to 50 foreign citizens in a grand ceremony in Beijing.

Professor Sotamaa is a long-standing president of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (1986-2008) and the first president of CUMULUS, the global association of design universities (2001-2007).  He has actively developed university, innovation and design cooperation between Finland and China. Sotamaa was also the chief representative of the Helsinki World Design Capital 2012 project in China and the leader of its biggest satellite event, the Radical Design Week in Shanghai in 2012.

Aalto University has extensive cooperation with the Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Yrjö Sotamaa first initiated these activities with China and he served in 2010-2013 as executive vice director of the Sino-Finnish Centre established together by Aalto University and Tongji University. An important part of Aalto University operations in China is the Design Factory at the Tongji campus, a pilot project of new learning culture and collaboration in China.

In 2008, Professor Sotamaa was invited as professor at Tongji University and in 2009 he was appointed advisory dean of the College of Design and Innovation, D&I. The college is a part of the ambitious creative industry, design and sustainable development program of China, which aims at turning China from a “world factory” to a sustainable creative economy. Professor Lou Yongqi, Dean of the D&I, has been a visiting professor at Aalto University this autumn.

For more information:

Emeritus professor Yrjö Sotamaa
tel. 0500 503 868
[email protected]
Aalto University

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