What is contemporary design?

Concept, (non)manifesto, and facilitation by contemporary design MA students.
(non)manifesto of contemporary design
Concept by Milja Kalliokoski, Mariana Solis Escalera, and Aino Tuovinen.

1    interactions

Relationships as a material. Also, understanding how as we design our world, it designs us (Willis, Anne-Marie. “Ontological designing”. Design Philosophy Papers, vol. 4, issue 2, pp. 69-92.)

2   give agency

To enable to take action.

3   collective engagement

Expanding the role of the designer from isolation to integration. To be active with(in) communities.

4   values

What is the role of values in the design process?

5   research as design

Should not be understood as a reference to “practice-led research” (Pedgley, 2007). Functions as a rigorous entanglement of making and theoretical knowledge (Jones, 2014; Findeli, 2008). Here, the aim is also to challenge the concept of objective knowledge, not to refer to theoretical knowledge as such.

6   process

Situating iterations within a wider network of learning instead of defining them as conclusions.

7   scale

Recognising the implications of scale in the age of globalisation and the context of regenerative futures. Should scale be defined by demand?

8   regenerative

Resilience vs. convenience.

9   possibilities

Resisting the idea of a truth and instead exploring the plurality of perspectives.

10   reflection

Embodiment, awareness, writing, examining or reviewing, gained knowledge from making, self-reflection, and the list goes on.


Concept, (non)manifesto, and facilitation by Milja Kalliokoski, Mariana Solis Escalera, and Aino Tuovinen.

The participating students and faculty have contributed to the editing process.


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

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