Unfolded

Unfolded

The next ten years will bring the biggest design challenges we’ve ever faced. Here we showcase a wide variety of projects that prepare us for these sustainable transformations. 

We have to act – now. Instead of building dystopias, we at Aalto University want to develop futures worth living for. Futures that are even better than what we currently have. 

The Unfolded magazine articles concentrate on contemporary issues dealing with creativity, experimentation, and transdisciplinary co-creation.

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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.

Resource Wisdom - Designs for a Cooler Planet 2021

Helsinki Design Week 2021 has landed in Otaniemi, showcasing three paths to resource wisdom

Radical ideas and prototypes contributing to a resource-wise future. The exhibitions and online lectures are open to everyone, and they belong to the official Helsinki Design Week programme.

Creativity is an important future skill - this symposium will help you understand creativity in a new way

Thriving in today’s fast-changing world requires creativity. The Aalto Creativity Symposium (September 10–11, 2021) welcomes everyone who wants to better understand the science of creativity.

Read more about Aalto Creativity Symposium
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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.

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Riikka Mäkikoskela

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.

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Tuomas Auvinen

Radical creativity empowers new thinking

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

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Provost Kristiina Mäkelä. Photo: Jaakko Kahilaniemi
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

Imagining alternative futures Illustration: Janne Kuisma

Imagining alternative futures with creativity

Creativity is a buzzword – but what does it mean?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Professor of practice Tua Björklund. Photo: Mortti Saarnia

To experiment and explore

Curiosity breeds creativity says professor of practice Tua Björklund.

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a man with a dark beard and a dark carnegie, a mic in his hand talks with his hands as well

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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IC-98:n taideteos Mare Tranquillatatis Kauppakorkeakoulun kierreportaikoissa

Artist group IC-98’s staircase artwork Mare Tranquillitatis has been installed at Aalto University

The artwork makes the three spiral staircases of the School of Business a zone of tranquillity and silence.

Julia Lohmann's Department of Seaweed at WEF. Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Julia Lohmann: ‘We know too much and do too little’

Lohmann’s magnificent seaweed pavilion won the sustainable design category for Dezeen Awards 2020.

Wood Wonders exhibition at Helsinki airport. Photo: Anne Kinnunen

Wood Wonders exhibition showcases climate-friendly building concepts

If all the buildings constructed in Finland each year were made of wood, the amount of wood needed for their construction would grow back in ten hours.

Kampustaidekilpailun tunnus

Campus art competition open to the whole Aalto community seeks works for outdoor areas

The main themes are sustainability, radical creativity and entrepreneurship.

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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.

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Designs for a Cooler Planet 2020: Race for the Future

Designs for a Cooler Planet — Helsinki Design Week 2020

Helsinki Design Week at Otaniemi showcases inspiring future designs related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Cornerstones for unlocking the potential of a team

Toward a team that is able to achieve its potential

We believe in the promise of teamwork and collaboration. This post provides tips and introduces tools for teachers to utilise in supporting teamwork in project-based courses.

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Aalto's U-Create Seminar on November 2019. photo: Alisa Javits

The age of digitalization and crises - how to navigate the unknown

Systemic problems call for changes, and this applies to higher education and research as well. The U-Create seminar discussed the limitations of our current university models and discussed alternative value systems, such as care.

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Nainen katsoo tummasävyisessä kuvassa oikeaan alaviistoon käsi pään takana

‘Textiles are unlimited’

Saving the world starts with textiles, says trend forecaster Li Edelkoort.

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Redesigning everything for sustainability. Illustration by Marika Latsone

We need to redesign everything—but how?

Meeting sustainable development goals requires more collaboration between disciplines.

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Oona Ojala studied how the cultivation conditions of luxury products such as coffee and cocoa will evolve with climate change. Photo: Elisa Dametto

Innovative Approach to Circular Economy

Aalto University's innovative pilot course studied the circular economy, arts and systemic changes.

Nanocellulose bicycle Photo: Eeva Suorlahti

Tomorrow's Sustainable Lifestyles Showcased in Otaniemi

One of Helsinki Design Week's main events, Designs for a Cooler Planet, will showcase Aalto University's cross-cutting future prototypes, such as a nanocellulose bicycle, microbial headphones and Ioncell clothes

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CHEMARTS Summer school 2019

Chemartsing with Bio-based Materials

CHEMARTS Summer School 2019 explored novel material solutions and their innovative applications

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Natural Indigo project, design by Arttu Åfield & Kirsi Niinimäki. Photo Eeva Suorlahti

Natural Indigo: New Luxury from Northern Fields

Crops4Luxury (PeltoLuksus) project studied special crops that could replace synthetic textile dyes sustainably and ethically

Events
(non)manifesto of contemporary design

What is contemporary design?

Concept, (non)manifesto, and facilitation by contemporary design MA students.

Aalto University / Salu Ylirisku / photo: Linda Koskinen

What does a Doctor of Arts do at the School of Electrical Engineering?

Salu Ylirisku, Doctor of Arts, teaches design process and related skills to aspiring engineers at the School of Electrical Engineering.

Julia Lohmann

Design professors' insights

How do the professors think about the impact of design – both for Aalto University's Strategy 3.0 and beyond

Aalto University strategy portal
Aalto artist-in-residence Matthew Wilson

A visual artist wielding more than a hammer

Aalto University’s fifth Artist in Residence Matthew C. Wilson explores the entangled nature of ideas.

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Post doc tutkija Michael Lettenmeier Kuva: Sanna Lehto

What can you do for the climate?

Within the next ten years, Finns need to cut down more than 75% of our carbon footprint. The change is enormous, and will be based on new lifestyles, says Michael Lettenmeier.

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What is contemporary design?

Contemporary design enables critical reflection

Design is the method with which we shape our world. The new MA Contemporary Design combines material-led design with critical and conceptual thinking practices.

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Crystal Garden. Kuva: Kalle Kataila.

A fairy dance takes over Kuunsilta: student art exhibition opened at the Espoo Cultural Centre

The exhibition was inspired by the students' own experiences and relationship with the environment, and adapted to fit into the Cultural Centre.

Bozar Sustainable Transformations by Marika Latsone

Sustainable Transformations: Exploring the Arts and Creativity in Stimulating Innovations and Technologies with a Human Touch

On Thursday, October 17, Aalto University in partnership with STARTS initiative of EU will organize a Seminar Day in BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.

Events
E-textile sample by Emmi Pouta

Arts and creativity in stimulating innovation and technologies with a human touch

The know-how on sustainability that Finnish society, educational system, and industries have been long excelling in, is something that the world is eagerly willing to learn from Finland and other Nordic communities.

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Traces from the Antropocene exhibition in Venice Biennale in 2019. Photo: Tzuyu Chen

Traces from the Anthropocene. Working with Soil.

A multidisciplinary research project that addresses the ecological consequences of the human footprint through ceramic art. The exhibition is a part of Venice Biennale during summer 2019.

Coiling vases from the local earthenware and painting the vases with the local earth in Earth Laboratory, Venice, August 2019. Photo: Catharina Kajander

Working with contaminated soil in Venice

Revealing human traces in Venice Biennale.

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Sediment sampling in the historical centre of Venice with the Limnos sampler provided by the Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE. Image: Pauliina Purhonen

The trip to Venice—in the words of the students

Contemporary design students spent a week in Venice setting up the exhibition and gathering soil samples for the research.

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Critical Tide Seaweed Sculpture Oki naganode by Julia Lohmann photo: Noortje Knulst

Critical Tide exhibition at the Design Museum’s Gallery

At a time of deep ecological crises, Critical Tide will open our eyes to the urgent issues our oceans face and showcase creative ways of intervening.

Students' portraits with their adopted creatures in Kristineberg workshop in April, 2019

Empathy: Design in a Social Context

Reaching out to non-human stakeholders

Unfolded
Critical Tide Floor Plan by MA student Chiao-wen Hsu

About Critical Tide Exhibition

From critical design to critical practice

Unfolded
Baltic Characters. Idea: Anni Avela, Illustration by Gero Grundmann

Baltic characters

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught. –Baba Dioum, 1968.

Unfolded

News about creativity and transdisciplinarity

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Research & Art Published:

Data Vitality: Online Reading Group & Open Call

Exhibition Open Call and Reading Group
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Research & Art Published:

Mind Meets Machine: Immersive Data Interaction

The exhibited projects showcase novel computational design methods to creatively interact with global and local data. Whereas the on-going general discussions in relation to data-handling stresses efficiency, productivity and often de-humanization, the exhibited projects set their focus on the exploration of immersive data-interaction design tools to enhance climate-smart solutions in the urban context. The projects aim for showcasing possibilities to make abstract data visible and tangible, to enter a new level of data-informed responsive design, that has public benefit.
Augmented data-interaction is merged with the tangible sandbox environment, in order to formulate sustainable design speculations for Ainonauki, an urban plaza located between Väre and Aalto Studios. The understanding of available technology to be composed and rearranged in order to support the field specific discourse led to innovative design speculations, based upon human-robotic interaction. The developed design methodology emphasizes the importance of design iterations through computationally informed feedback loops.
Girl sitting in a dark room with light on her face
Honoured, Research & Art, Studies Published:

ELO short films succeed – main prize at Haugesund Film Festival and several student films at Helsinki International Film Festival

Auringonpistos by Anna Äärelä wins the main prize in Norway and ELO students compete in Helsinki International Film Festival national competition.
UWAS 21-22
Press releases, Research & Art, Studies, University Published:

Registration ongoing for UWAS courses!

Don’t miss out on the unique offer of UWAS transdisciplinary methods and topics opening this fall!
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Online event

Data Vitality Online Reading Group

The reading group accompanies exhibition 'Data Vitality' and is open to participants from all practices and theoretical backgrounds.
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Online event

Data Vitality: Open Call for Exhibition

This open call is open to Aalto students, staff and researchers to submit proposals for inclusion in an exhibition at Dipoli Gallery and Online from November 2021-February 2022.
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Conferences and workshops

YHYS colloquium: Sustainable Welfare

The annual YHYS colloquium invites contributions to the topic of Sustainable welfare: States and capabilities of transformation.

Renewing society by art, creativity and design

Aalto University promotes creativity in all disciplines and communities. One of our strategic targets is to renew society through art, creativity and design. We are a forerunner in combining art and creative practices with research and education.

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Unexepected encounters exhibition: Matilda Tuure's colourful glass work presenting Bacterial Cellulose Samples
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