Metal casting – the coolest workshop ever!

My first bronze sculptures.

The metal casting workshop is the coolest one I’ve ever had in my life. There are beauty and surprises beyond description in each step. Honestly, I didn’t know there’s a foundry lab in Aalto University until I was accepted to the advanced metal casting workshop and stepped into a building I’ve never been to. Even after studying in Aalto for almost 2 years, there are still more surprises to discover, the excitement is like finding easter eggs after a long search.

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A Journey on Game Design – interview with Gautam Vishwanath

Gautam is a talented game designer. In the interview, he shared his journey of becoming a game designer in Aalto University. We met in the studio course ‘Design for Government’ last year. He is funny, humble and versatile. We had a great time working together in the team project.

Now he is finishing his master thesis, which is dedicated to fight stage fright with virtual reality. In the research, he found the limitations of AI technology. Instead of building a real-life scenario that fails to give normal feedback, he opted for a different strategy. There are different scenarios to help users battle stage fright. I tried the game last week, when I thought I was a human surrounding by the aliens, I looked down and found out that I was a green alien creature. Wow! Gautam has an impeccable sense of humor, which makes his game design full of fun and surprises. Moreover, the game is highly practical, users can upload their own speech or presentation script into the game and practice it with VR.

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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.

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An exhibition of design student’s ceramics works

Final exhibition in Väre 2F exhibition space.  The course Manufacturing Technologies and Materials in Studio Production is taught and supervised by Eeva Jokinen, Leena Juvonen and Nathalie Lautenbacher.

In the beginning of the first period, I went to the new ceramics workshop in Väre to ask for a working permit. There was a ceramics class going on at that time. I’ve been interested in ceramics course since I tried out ceramics by myself in May. I asked the teacher if I could attend the course and luckily there was still a free spot. Until later on, I realized the course was ‘Manufacturing Technologies and Materials in Studio Production’ and taught in Finnish for undergraduate students in Design Program. Kindly, the teachers gave me instructions in English separately. We learned all the basic skills of ceramics works. It included how to throw on the wheel, hand build sculpture, experiment on glaze and so on. 

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Final Presentation of Design for Government 2018

Gautam Vishwanath, Joel Wolff and I presented our final proposal ‘Eventful Forest’ for 2018
Design for Government. © Heidi Konttinen

Design for Government (DfG) is an advanced studio course in Creative Sustainability Master Programme. It took two periods from February till May 2018. “DfG develops design addressing the complex challenges of the government and public sector. In the course, we apply empathic approaches to identify stakeholder needs, systems approaches to analyse the wider context of policies, and behavioural insight to identify and design relevant solutions.” (Design for Government course description)

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Aalto Ambassador attends Beyond Change: Questioning the role of design in times of global transformations – Swiss Design Network – Research summit March 8-10, 2018

Day 1: Designers re-designing design during the workshop Breaking Ground: Laying a Foundation for an Intersectional Collaboration.

Day 1: Designers re-designing design during the workshop Breaking Ground: Laying a Foundation for an Intersectional Collaboration.

Beyond Change: Questioning the role of design in times of global transformations, was hosted from March 8-11 at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. The conference brought together researchers, designers, student ambassadors, activists, feminists, environmentalists, writers, educators etc. The research summit’s aim was to shine a critical light on the complex interconnections of design – also as a response to the tendency of seeing global crisis as a worldwide design competition. The venue was a space for dialogue and for exchanging ideas. It offered me many opportunities to connect with people who intersect the design hub in a similar and critical way. Through workshops, keynote lectures, conversations, I connected with inspiring people from around the world, discovering professionals who are working towards fostering support, community and solidarity within and beyond the design community.

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My experience in the Pattern Lab ’18 minor


As part of my master’s studies, I participated in PatternLab ‘18, the annual textile and surface design project in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. This year, our group of designers sold over ten percent of our collection. We had abundant sales with our loyal customers in the domestic market as well as strong sales at the largest international trade fair for home and contract textiles, the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

“The work that has been done over the years has now really begun to bear fruit. Especially the decision to strengthen the PatternLab brand among consumers a couple of years ago has been a really good solution. Sales were great last year, but this year we have sold over 50 items in a very short time. It is a great achievement for this freelance designers’ collection”, rejoices Adjunct Professor Maarit Salolainen from Aalto University.

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Systems Thinking for Sustainable Living Environment

During the 3rd period I participated in the course Systems Thinking for Sustainable Living Environment, which is mandatory for students of Creative Sustainability and Spatial and Transportation Engineering Master’s programmes. We had 6 intense lectures in the Harald Herlin Learning centre in Otaniemi with teachers Katri Pulkkinen and Aija Sta ans. The aim of the course is to make us students think in systems and understand di erent system concepts related to sustainable development.
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