Where The Wild Things Are?

Örö Island Workshop 2019 (Course:  DOM-E3042)

You leave behind Helsinki and the metro stations, the bus stops and highways, the train station in Salo and the harbor in Kasnäs.  You try to count the black rocks rising from sea in this maze of islets, while another grey wave mirrors another grey sky. On a Monday in October you arrive on an island called Örö at the edge of the Finnish archipelago where the Baltic Sea swallows the horizon. The equipment in your backpack outweighs your food supplies by far and you carry more films than underpants as you start the walk to your cottage with the other lens based creatures that will be your roommates for the next five days and your partners in crime for the next two years.

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Attending Barcelona Convention with a support from Aalto Design Grants

European Blockchain Convention 2020 in Barcelona.

With the support from Department of Design Grants, I had the chance to attend the European Blockchain Convention for the first time last week. The grants are offered 4 times every year to “facilitate research, art, creative practice and learning dealing with design. Priority is given to enable participation to peer reviewed research and artistic events and forums for publishing the outcomes.” (Aalto website)

I applied for the Department of Design Grants in mid August to gain new information for my master thesis. One month after my application, I received a notification that I was granted an amount of 700 euros from Department of Design Express Grant. Two weeks later, I receive the full amount to cover the convention registration fee, accommodation, flights and other expenses. The grant eased my financial burden to attend an important convention outside of Finland. Usually, the registration fee of international seminars and conventions cost quite a lot. This one costs 238 euros, which is a big amount for students. I am really grateful to have the grant to advance my research on my master thesis.

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NoVA Symposium in Konstfack University, Stockholm, Sept 2019

NoVA students attending symposium in Konstfack University, Stockholm

Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA) is a joint programme with 3 universities: Aalto University in Helsinki, Aalborg University in Copenhagen and Konstfack University in Stockholm. Each semester, all NoVA students from the 3 universities attend a symposium that lasts for a week in one partner university. We attended the symposium between 23/9/2019 and 27/9/2019 in Konstfack University in Stockholm.

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How I make the most of my time in Aalto University – Rasmus Viitala

Rasmus Viitala was my project teammate in the course Energy Business and Innovation, who is major in master’s program of Industrial Engineering and Management and CEMS. It’s a great pleasure working on the project with him. In fact, It’s very rare in my life to meet someone whose personality lights up the atmosphere wherever he or she goes. Rasmus is one of this unique kind, he is always fun, cheerful, upbeat, smart but also hardworking. Continue reading

My exchange in Italy

Since my first year of studying in Finland, I wanted to go study abroad for a semester or two. I looked at the big list of Aalto’s partner universities and could not decide where to go. Aalto had partner universities in Japan, Canada, all over Europe, Australia… I started narrowing down.

They need IELTS/TOEFL?

– I have no time to pass those.

Need knowledge of German/French language?

– Germany and France were out.

Do they have courses similar to those in my study plan?

– Almost everything was out.

Do not repeat my mistakes. Leave the elective studies blank. Then it will be easier to find an exchange place for you to go. I was left with two options: KTH in Stockholm and POLIMI in Milan. Going to Sweden did not feel like enough of a change and Milan sounded cool! I applied, got accepted, got a 1500€ grant and was set to go.

San Marino. January but still T-shirt weather! The best thing about Italy.

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From Aalto University to the world

For me personally, I consider the internationalization opportunities at Aalto University one of its greatest assets.

Because of Aalto University, I have been able to experience university life in two different countries within the past year. Last fall I did my mandatory semester abroad for my BScBA degree. To take advantage of the wide range of partner universities globally, I wanted to go as far as possible. I ended up on a new continent for me; North America and the University of Victoria in Canada. I had grown up watching American tv-series and movies about high school and college life in the states and I wanted to experience it for myself. What I consider my biggest learning from this first exchange is putting things in perspective. No matter how nice the campus is or fun the student life seems, my appreciation towards the high-quality education we receive in Finland grew immensely. Without the comparison to Canada I never actually realized the quality of our university programs and contrary to Canada’s system, for us Finnish citizens it is even free to pursue these programs. Canada as a country surprised me in the sense that it oddly represented all the stereotypes I had heard before. In fact, people were even more friendly than expected. This is something that I truly missed when I returned in Finland, where you rarely face the same kind of friendliness towards strangers.

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Experiencing Japan as an exchange student (part 1)

When I started my studies in Aalto University, I knew from the beginning that I would like to spend half a year abroad as an exchange student, and Japan always seemed like an intriguing destination. After a long application period and overcoming several challenges, that dream finally came true at the beginning of this April, when I arrived in Tokyo to study in Tokyo Institute of Technology.

View of Tokyo from Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City

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Research and adventures in Nepal (part 2)

This is part 2 of a blog post telling about my participation in the course Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Studio at Aalto University. To read the first part, scroll down.

The time in Dhungetar was valuable for all of us. It felt like we spent several weeks there and we became familiar with some of the locals. In the evenings after all the official tasks were done, we had long conversations on cultural differences and life with our fellow students from AITM and during the days we all tried to find some own time to reflect on the experiences we were having.

On Saturday we left Dhungetar and we spent a day travelling through Nuwakot, visiting the famous Nuwakot palace of the king Prithvi Narayan Shah who united Nepal some 250 years ago. We also visited a chaotic marketplace and festival in a town close by and had lunch on the way. In the evening we arrived to Kathmandu and on Sunday we had a day of rest and touristing around in Thamel where our apartment was situated.

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Research and adventures in Nepal (part 1)

This Spring I am doing the Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Studio at Aalto University, which is a cross-disciplinary course focusing on connecting sustainability and technology in developing context. As part of our studio course my team did a two week field trip to Nepal now in March.

The studio course started officially in January but I met my team members and our mentor already during last Autumn to learn to know each other and start applying and looking for grants and potential sponsors for our project. What is exciting and really interesting about the Nepal project is that we built it up from scratch. It is a pilot project, meaning that there is no earlier collaboration established in Nepal through the SGT course. We decided on our topics and partners ourselves and it has been really interesting to see how far 5 ambitious and motivated students can get (with a lot of help from others!) in 3 months.

Our main topic is to look into reconstruction practices after the earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015 and made 1 million people fall below the poverty line. We are especially interested in knowing how successful reconstruction projects have been conducted and how the information related to reconstruction has been communicated to the beneficiaries and inside the organisations.

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A Taste of Working Life at Silicon Valley- Aalto ME310

Whether you are into technology or IT, or for that matter in product development, Silicon Valley is the one place that would come in mind as a work place which would definitely be a life event for you that will be really hard to check in the wish list of yours. Reason for this could be that stakes are high in the most advanced research tech companies and margin of failure is low. What would it take you to get this dream come true? Yes, you heard this right! Aalto University has the solution for you. ME310 is a platform where you learn to apply the product development concepts at whole new level with real life projects offered by companies which are looking for solutions to problems that will make the world experience more comfortable for all of us.

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