Design Your Life – interview with Frank Martela


Frank Martela started to teach a new course ‘Designing Life’ this spring for the first time in Aalto University. Aalto conducts¬†annual AllWell? questionnaire and works on how to improve the well-beings of all the students. The course is one of the outcomes.¬†Designing Life is one of the most unique courses I’ve ever taken, which addressed the life issues and challenges we face when we are 20 somethings. These issues usually bring stress and anxiety to the young people when they are trying to figure out about their own life and future.

The course topic stated as
Designing life:
Finding motivation, direction and meaning to life and work. 

During the course, we learned about the basic needs of human beings, motivations, our own strengths, values, and eventually how to connect the dots and design our own life.

Aalto University loves teamwork. It’s full of challenges when working with people from different backgrounds. However, the team gathering in this course was completely different. A bunch of strangers from various programs were assigned into the same team. We met every Friday to discuss about our worldview, life view, motivations, strengths and so on. It’s weird in the beginning that you suddenly had to dive into deep conversations with strangers, and the topics required to share personal life experience. But it turned out to be the team project that everyone enjoyed. It is like a group therapy session with lots of life stories. By opening up, we got inspired by each other.

The education system is highly devoted to train students with new skills, knowledge and technologies. However, how to deal with life issues or crises are somehow not emphasized enough. I’m glad to attend the course and getting prepared to face the challenges in life. More students can get benefits from the course Designing Life, which is scheduled to open once a year in the spring term.

More info:

VIA Character – Learn about your own key strengths

Aalto Well-being Project

Get to know more about Frank Martela’s work:

Hsiao-Pei Liao,
Creative Sustainability Master Program

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