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. 

UNFOLDED magazine is published by Aalto University’s Art and Creative Practices initiative. The articles unfold 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.

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.

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 has been shortlisted in 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

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(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.

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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

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Critical Tide Floor Plan by MA student Chiao-wen Hsu

About Critical Tide Exhibition

From critical design to critical practice

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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

Aallon alumni Ksenia Avetisova katsoo peiliin järven rannalla, kuva: Aleksi Poutanen
Aalto Magazine Published:

Who: Alumna Ksenia Avetisova is a human at the heart of technology

Ksenia Avetisova moves around the virtual world as part of her job, but what brought her to Finland was a live rock gig.
red color making sliding shapes on blue background
Research & Art, Studies Published:

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.
Aalto-yliopiston alumni Ulla Heikkilä on ohjannut ja käsikirjoittanut lyhytelokuvan Let her speak. Se on osa Yksittäistapaus-elokuvasarjaa, joka tuo esiin naisiin kohdistuvaa näkymätöntä vallankäyttöä niin yksityiselämässä kuin yhteiskunnassa. Kuvassa näyttelijä Iida-MariaHeinonen. Kuva: JohannaOnnismaa/TuffiFilms2019
Press releases Published:

Two new surveys confirm: gender exclusion is still common in the Finnish audiovisual industry

Employment is hindered by lack of networks. Women are also faced with gender-specific negative assessment in funding and production negotiations.
Juuso Tervo (picture by Tuuli Saarelainen)
Research & Art Published:

Creative pedagogy

Creativity is a continuous possibility to think and act differently.
dissertation
Dissertations

Defense in the field of New Media: Msc Massimo Menichinelli

Open and collaborative design processes. Meta-Design, ontologies and platforms within the Maker Movement
Graphic image in green and black, written 'Art of Research 2020. Authorship and Responsibility', round green elements around
Conferences and workshops

Art of Research 2020

The seventh Art of Research conference will be held on 3-4 December 2020 at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland.

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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