Our strategy

Radical creativity

Radical creativity is one of the three cross-cutting approaches in our living strategy.
Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova

The world is changing at a pace like never before. Our focus of development is to build an outstanding creative community for new thinking. The actions we need to take to reach this include empowering an experimental culture by building the spaces and practices that encourage us to break boundaries and create novel perspectives. 

Radical creativity is one of the three cross-cutting approaches in our living strategy. Over the next years, we will invest in developing creative mindsets, capabilities, processes and spaces that support radical creativity.

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The other cross-cutting approaches

Solutions for sustainability

Entrepreneurial mindset

People in charge of Radical Creativity

Our plan: Radical creativity

Explore our strategic plans for 2021–2024. (requires an Aalto-login)

News about radical creativity

Multiple coils of different shapes within the same transcranial magnetic stimulation device: figures of eight, loops and circles. Photo: Aalto University
Campus, Research & Art Published:

Invisible: From a mini-sized supersensor to a forgotten building material - the exhibition will make the invisible visible

See the future in a whole new way at the Designs for a Cooler Planet festival this September. The theme, "Invisible," encourages us to look beyond the surface and consider what lies beneath.
Jason Selvarajan, photo by Jessica Sinikoski.
Campus Published:

Jason Selvarajan: A shared kitchen helps me bring people together

'When I started the job, I was told that they were looking for a ‘mood manager’ whose job was to create a good, positive atmosphere with the attitude that anything is possible. I'm not always in a good mood, though, despite what other people say.'
Laser Talks main visual
Research & Art Published:

Radical Collaboration – Aalto LASER Talks afterwork returns in June

Invite your friend or colleague to our casual get-together featuring inspiring talks on current research, accompanied by relaxed conversations over food, refreshments, and music on June 7, 2023.
Elokuvaaja Iiris Sjöblad ja ohjaaja Emilia Hernesniemi radikaalista luovuudesta kertovan dokumenttielokuvan kuvauksissa. Kuva: Hayley Le
Press releases, University Published:

Award-winning director Emilia Hernesniemi at the helm of documentary on radical creativity for Aalto University

Brain researchers, satellite developers, seaweed artists, students, startup entrepreneurs, fashion designers and ice researchers will be among those featured in the film

We need radical creativity

Tuomas Auvinen

Tuomas Auvinen: Radical creativity as culture

Creativity is experimenting, and therefore a valuable skill for us all to master in a constantly changing and complex world. Radical creativity does not appear overnight, but we can build capabilities for it, says Dean Tuomas Auvinen.

Provost Kristiina Mäkelä. Photo: Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Radical creativity empowers new thinking

Aalto aims to take an internationally leading position concerning radical creativity and its leadership.

Christian Guckelsberger in front of graffiti

Teaching creativity to computers - Christian Guckelsberger wants to equip AI with the motivation to discover the unexpected

Research on computational intrinsic motivation could answer some fundamental questions about the nature of creativity, but also improve household robotics or even self-driving cars

Riikka Mäkikoskela

Riikka Mäkikoskela, Doctor of Arts, appointed as Head of Radical Creativity

Creativity is an important capability as we spark the game changers of tomorrow, and renew our society. A culture of radical creativity supports learning from exploration, experimentation and failure.

Maria Joutsenvirta

Theory U - How to lead from the future while it emerges?

Creative people, like artists and scientists, invent and create the new by stepping from the visible world into the invisible world of imagination, and then returning back into the visible. We all can develop our sensitivity, intuition and leadership capabilities to increase creativity.

Imagining alternative futures Illustration: Janne Kuisma

Imagining alternative futures with creativity

Creativity is a buzzword – but what does it mean?


It may start from a crazy idea - dare to fail!

Aalto innovations present at Flow Festival, photo by Samuli Pentti

Radical creativity sparks discoveries

An idea that may sound crazy at first can be the key to solving significant challenges. Aalto University provides a favourable environment for daring initiatives that can lead to the discovery of some genuinely novel solutions.

Give for the future
Kuvassa Pasi Herranen, Orvokki Ihalainen ja Panu Miettinen

Anything but an ordinary greenhouse

A wood-structured windowless greenhouse consumes only half as much energy as a traditional glass greenhouse. In addition to producing food, Pasi Herranen’s invention could generate electricity and excess heat in the future.

Valokuvassa on kaksi talitiaista oksalla, toinen lintu seisoo toisen päällä. Kuva: Sanna Kannisto.

Try, fail, try again, fail better

Failure is an unavoidable part of life, but does failure have to be all bad? How about failing upwards and forwards?

Professori Adam Foster pitelee kättään pään takana ja katselee hymyillen yläviistoon.

Oops! Failure to launch

As a student, Professor Adam Foster dreamed of studying the stars, but an over-running holiday interrupted the countdown.

Professori Nitin Sawhney istumassa rannalla, kuva: Veera Konsti

Everyday choices: Nitin Sawhney, how do we cooperate in times of crisis?

Professor of Practice Sawhney examines the role of technology and cooperation in crisis using transdisciplinary human-centered design practices.

Henkilökuvassa Riikka Mäkikoskela katsoo kameraan, kädet ovat kohotettuina kämmenet ylöspäin, hänellä on yllään keltainen pellavapaita.

Oops: A circular economy workshop abuzzed activity and ejected personal biases

Head of Radical Creativity Riikka Mäkikoskela witnessed the power of creativity while leading a workshop.


Good design benefits us all – welcome to open DesignTalks lecture series

Join us for our open lecture series discussing about the relevance of design in different contexts.

Professor of practice Tua Björklund. Photo: Mortti Saarnia

‘The low hierarchy and open labs of Aalto build a foundation for our community, as we’ve seen through the number of patents, ventures and initiatives not only from our staff but students, too.’ 

Tua Björklund  
Professor of Practice, Design Factory 
School of Engineering 


Our scholars' takes on radical creativity

Aalto-yliopisto, Otaniemi stories: Jaan Praks, apulaisprofessori, radiotieteen ja -tekniikan laitos / Kuvaaja: Sinikoski

Radical creativity – it’s a gamble

The first Finnish satellite was a creative and very risky project.

Julia Lohmann and Department of Seaweed. Photo: Mikko Raskinen

From not knowing to new knowledge via imagining

Julia Lohmann considers design a bridge-building discipline that enables collaboration and communication across disciplines.

Associate professor Elisa Mekler. Photo: Matti Ahlgren

Contributing to a better future with creativity

Radical creativity is my elixir, it motivates and revitalises my interest in research and the world at large, says assistant professor Elisa Mekler.

man standing in a storage in front of the window, wearing a white laboratory coat, smiling

Mixing people

Mixing people with different backgrounds is a nutrient for creativity, says professor Tapani Vuorinen.

Professor of Practice Niina Nurmi Photo: Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Shaking up the status quo

Leading creativity can be paradoxical because it often includes destruction, uncertainty, and conflicts, says professor of practice Niina Nurmi.

Henri Weijo Aalto

A virtue of the Nordic system

Henri Weijo focuses on what creativity is and how it can benefit both individuals and society as a whole.

a man smiling, wearing a dark red pullover

Designing smart digital worlds

We benefit from online learning approaches that bravely cut across all schools at Aalto University, says Tomi Kauppinen.

Professor of practice Lauri Järvilehto. Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Fuel for entrepreneurship

Professor of Practice Lauri Järvilehto says that radical creativity is an important part of entrepreneurship.

Professor of practice Tua Björklund. Photo: Mortti Saarnia

To experiment and explore

Curiosity breeds creativity says professor of practice Tua Björklund.


What is creative pedagogy?

Creativity is a continuous possibility to think and act differently.

Juuso Tervo (picture by Tuuli Saarelainen)

Creative pedagogy

Creativity is a continuous possibility to think and act differently.

A woman talking by the table, a tv screen nearby showing what the topic is

The next steps in developing creative pedagogy

Aalto University’s new strategy encourages us to spark dialogue, build understanding, and boost creativity in the different fields of pedagogy.

red color making sliding shapes on blue background

Learning to unlearn: What could radically creative education be?

Juuso Tervo is urging us not only to learn new things, but also to unlearn the already learned.

Colorful Made in Aalto University -t-shirts hanging at Aalto University Shop's wall

Design Inside brings design education to all Aalto students

Design offers tools and new perspectives that would not be found otherwise. . It can help make a difference in every field. That is why Aalto University wants all students to have access to design education.

U-CREATE 2020: Creativity amid Crisis. Graphic Design by Heini Hälinen

U-Create 2020: Creativity amid Crisis

U-Create 2020 will be organised as an online event and invites keynotes from Aalto University professors and international researchers on the topic of Creativity amid Crisis.

Research & Art

Creativity Unfolded

Aalto University’s blog series Creativity Unfolded focuses on insights linked to creativity in a multitude of ways. Topics include design, technology, media, architecture, film, games, art theory and more. Read and join the conversation.

Read more
Creativity Unfolded_blogi_visu_Milja Komulainen


Aalto University UNFOLDED magazine focuses on contemporary issues dealing with creativity, experimentation, and transdisciplinary co-creation.

Read more

News related to arts and creative practices

Front and back covers of book called Unfolding Public Art. Text in red, book covers in sand colour.
Research & Art, University Published:

Upcoming book discusses the role of public art at Aalto University

To be published in May, Unfolding public art book is based on the university's art collection
Laser Talks main visual
Research & Art Published:

Radical Collaboration – Aalto LASER Talks afterwork returns in June

Invite your friend or colleague to our casual get-together featuring inspiring talks on current research, accompanied by relaxed conversations over food, refreshments, and music on June 7, 2023.
Christian Guckelsberger in front of graffiti
Research & Art Published:

Ask a scientist: How will AI affect creativity?

The impact of creative AI is unfolding before our eyes, yet we struggle to understand it. It’s the perfect time to ask researchers what they see and think.
Decorative banner with green, orange and blue hues. In the middle it says "Art, Life and Entrepreneurship" in a bubble.
Studies Published:

Art, Life and Entrepreneurship 2 course is starting in period V

Art is your craft — learn tools for making it a living!
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