Be the next wave – Aalto on X

Many of our participants were impressed and want more. Already they have tons of ideas!

Form the new team and make the next Aalto on _____ reality! You won’t regret it. Guaranteed!

You can contribute by posting your ideas to the Aalto on  X ideas – page, and joining the idea event after wappu.

The event is held 2nd of May at Venture Garage 18:00-21:00. 

Image copyright: Creative Commons – Some rights reserved by jcrew270

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Now online: the Aalto on Waves publication!

Now, 4 months after the journey and countless hours of work later, the Aalto on Waves publication is ready! Created by participants, the publication tells about the most exiting moments during our trip.

Grab your printed copy at the Aalto University!



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AoW Spring Event today in Helsinki & worldwide!

The big day has come: the Aalto on Waves spring event will start today at 16.30 Finnish time in Salmi Sali, Energiakatu 3, Helsinki.

Come here to find out, what Aalto on Waves was about, see various Guest Speakers as well as the documentary produced during Aalto on Waves! Besides this, we will have a photo gallery with impressions from the journey (kindly supported with materials from ADOX and the Aalto University School of Arts, Design & Architecture Graphic Design Dept.).

Furthermore, our publication with outcomes of the projects that were part of Aalto on Waves will be launched.

For those who cannot participate in Helsinki, there will be a livestream available.

More information you can find here.

Looking forward to seeing you!


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Ride the big ones

No epic journey would be complete without its own special theme song! Luckily we had Tuure aboard who composed a song for us for those unforgettable group moments.

From below you can download the song, lyrics and notes. Stay tuned, there might be a rock version on the way…

[Edit: New versions]


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Design Thinking Workshop @ Escola Superior de Propaganda et Marketing (ESPM) Rio de Janeiro

Aalto on Waves in Rio de Janeiro built this Friday bridges between the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Aalto University by hosting together an event on Creative Entrepreneurship at the School of Fine Arts at UFRJ.

During the event, we met Paulo Reis, who is both involved in the innovation agency of UFRJ ( and a teacher of design thinking in a marketing university in Rio.

Paulo invited us to his design thinking class at ESPM ( on Saturday to get to know the Brazilian way of design thinking.

5 people from Aalto on Waves, 2 designers and Nara, Gisa and me from IDBM were joining the class. It began with an informal introduction to the class and the project the ESPM students were working on – solutions for a better life of elderly people in general – how to bring life back into unused premises for elderly people in Niteroi, a city close to Rio.

We had a lot of fun participating in the workshop, giving an international perspective on the life of elderly people in Brazil (Gisa), Russia (Nara), Finland and Germany (me). The workshop started broad with the situation of elderly people in general in the countries, and narrowed down into aspects characterising elderly people such as atmosphere, emotions, activities, …

The workshop was held in a nice and informal atmosphere, accompanied by loud music and a “creative mess” 🙂 It was great, and the workshop ended by having a beer with local students. Hope to stay in touch!



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Companies onboard

Aalto on Waves celebrating independence day in Sao Paulo

Besides of all the university courses, Aalto on Waves did an amazing ammount of co-operation with the companies. Eight company workshops were held during the cruise. These workshops were for Outotec, Royal Caribbean International, Wärtsilä, TEK, Sefe, Ornamo, World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki and Microsoft. Also eight excursions were organized to: Traffic controlling center in Rio, Angra nuclear plant, Coppe research labs for solarpower, oil pumping, Valtra factory, inside Vision of the Seas and there will be more to come.

For the first cruise days we had some reinforcements from Outotec which sent two employees to work with us and to enjoy the Aalto on Waves spirit. They had an interesting task for us – to help them in designing the new Outotec headquarters. They left the ship in Tenerife with their briefcases full of drawings and fresh ideas from our 14 multitalented participants.

We had a good combination of excursions related to the energy production industry. In addition to visits made to the only Brazilian nuclear powerplant in Angra and a solarpower research center in Rio de Janeiro we are planning an excursion to Brazilians biggest hydroplant in Iguacu Falls.

In the field of marine technology there were variable university courses and company cases worked upon during the cruise. The cruise ship turned out to be an innovative space for this purpose. Therefore many course attendants were spotted working in the control bridge,on the sun deck (during day and night) and of course in the Jacuzzis.

With no doubt, Aalto on Waves has shown that neiher work nor the workplace has to be traditional or boring. An inspiring and fun environment will create innovative results no matter what you are doing.

Otto Virenius

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MIDE Think Tank – Generating ideas for research projects in an onboard workshop

MIDE (Multidisciplinary Institute of Digitalisation and Energy) is a program that funds and supports 11 important long-term research projects in Aalto University. MIDE is one of the sponsors of Aalto on Waves. Our collaboration included a two-day workshop on board where we brainstormed for new ideas based on real-life challenges taken from three of MIDE’s projects. Workshop participants could choose the most interesting project among the topics of augmented reality, social media and the future of shopping malls. After these three project-specific workshops we gathered the group together to innovate ideas for the future of MIDE.

All of the topics gathered interested participants and the Aalto people were eager to generate ideas as soon as they were unleashed. In the project-specific workshops, we used a methodology called Future Technology Workshop, which switches the participants’ point of view between future technologies and activities and what is already possible today.

The results were creative and almost crazy: augmented reality glasses made out of sunglasses, play-doh animals demonstrating people moving in a shopping mall, friend-sensing belts built from paper and paper clips etc. After two days of intensive workshops, we got a nice list of new ideas to report back to MIDE and its projects. Importantly, the process was also fun for the participants, so we can conclude that all the goals were reached.

We let the following pictures tell the rest of the story of the MIDE Think Tank on board.

Prototyping ideas for future social media services using office supplies as props 


Pitching the personal cloud connection belt prototype

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Transportation, accommodation and practical matters

Our official part of Aalto on Waves has come to an end and what a journey it has been! On behalf of all the participants and organizers of Aalto on Waves I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank TripBrasil travel agency and especially Juha Paltila, CEO of TripBrasil for the great service that we have enjoyed in the organization of accommodation for 100 people both in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as bus transfers.

I have been collaborating with Juha for many months starting in Finland and he has been extremely attentive to the various needs, requirements and changes that a project of this size has from budget to location and safety. It was very important to have everyone accommodated in the same place in order to continue with the discussions and project work that we had started during the cruise, and despite not being an easy task we have been very pleased with Edificio Jucati in Rio and Hotel 155 in Sao Paulo that Juha negotiated for us.

I would also like to thank our guide Maija Vartia who welcomed us at the Rio port with her interesting stories and useful tips and also accompanied us on the bus ride from Rio to Sao Paulo. Thank you TripBrasil and have a safe journey Aalto on Waves participants whether it is home or travelling further!

Inna Pirkanniemi

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Mascots onboard!

What would be an adventure without mascots? At least these three unanimated objects have been travelling with us.

Roope is a parrot bought from Tenerife. He has a handy zipper pocket in its back, ideal for smuggling stuff around.

Angry Bird
A lot of name suggestions have arisen, but no consensus over it has been reached. He has participated in workshops, disco nights and pool parties and puzzled several security officers while boarding our flights to Lisbon.

Jööti is a piece of firewood originated from Design Factory’s bar counter. It is supposed to represent Finnish design and to protect from robbers on the streets of Brazilian cities.

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Creating an Envrionmentally Sustainable Cruise Ship Concept for Wärtsilä

The independent propulsion unit group hard at work.Our workshop with Wärtsilä was organized on board the Vision of the Seas while cruising between Salvador de Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. The main idea was to find a concept for an environmentally sustainable cruise ship for the year 2020. In keeping with the Aalto spirit, there were three aspects to consider: the technologies used, design and implemantation of the technologies and the business side of things.

On the first day the group divided into two to select the main technologies and key features for the concepts. After the first idea generating session both groups had many interesting and wild ideas. The ideas were actually so interesting and novel that it was considered better to keep the two initial concepts separated and continue working on both. On the following day, the groups continued refining their concepts and presented them to each other, after which there was a lot of great discussion about the concepts and ideas. Unfortunately there was only limited time and we had to move on with the other activities onboard.

It was great to see how eleven students with almost no experience on ship design or technology managed to come up with such innovative ideas. The groups were helped and consulted by three staff members from Aalto’s Department of Naval Architecture and one naval architecture student. One concept concentrated more on energy efficiency utilizing gas-power, extended use of natural lightning, waste burning etc – an environmentally sustainable eco-ship. The other group went completely out of the box with an idea of creating a modular, independent and easily upgradable propulsion system: the ship’s main engines (as well as a good number of sails) would be located in a separate ship which would tow the main cruise ship. This would allow the engines and power generation technologies to be updated as green technologies advance, while keeping the downtime of the main cruise ship to a minimum.

Everyone enjoyed the workshop and the spirit among the workshoppers was positive throughout the process. Now it’s just a matter of drawing last sketches and crystallizing everything to a two great packages. We’ll describe the concepts better later on, so stay tuned!

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