Hands-on learning experience in Aalto

In Aalto University, there are many project-based courses that provide valuable opportunities for students to work with real clients. For 2018 fall semester, I take the advanced studio course in Creative Sustainability master’s program – Design for Government, which utilizes design approach to tackle complex challenges of the government and public sector. This year our clients are Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Metsähallitus. The project aims at establishing a clear profile for national hiking areas and attracting more visitors. In order to help students gain a better understanding of national hiking areas, the course subsidizes every student for a site visit to Evo, which is about 90-min drive away from Helsinki.

My team organized a two-day field trip in mid March. On the way to Evo, we were talking about wild animals living in Helsinki city. I was surprised that foxes can be seen around the suburbs. Then and there, a handsome fox crossed the street in front of our car and stared at us curiously. What amazes me the most in Finland is the nature is always so close and stunning.

We chose to stay in a small rental cabin Ahdinkämppä inside Evo hiking area, so we could
make the best of the trip.

The cabin situated next to Lake Niemisjärvi, the recreational fishing destination in the

Here we go! We went on a hiking journey for four hours.

The scenery in the winter was beautiful and peaceful.

Finnish teammate led us across a frozen lake. It was my first time doing so, very exciting.
The snow was shin high, which made walking more laboring.

After hiking for four hours, we barbecued with a campfire under countless starts. Then,
going for sauna to ease the sore muscles. Everyone cooled down by rolling over on
snowfield. It’s such a refreshing experience.

Next morning, there were two Finnish men ice fishing on the lake. We went over to
interview them about their experience in Evo. The field trip benefited us with the first-hand
information and experience for further research.

In Aalto, students have great chances to learn hands-on experience with all kind of projects and different clients. We get to apply the knowledge and skills to the real-life cases and receive feedback directly from the clients, project supervisors and professors. All of these prepares us for future challenges, including the ability to collaborate with innovative mindset and design thinking.

by Hsiao-Pei

Design for Government

Creative Sustainability Master’s Program

Re-think Architecture, Built Environment, Business, Design and Real Estate

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