Collaborative Art at University of Sao Paulo (USP)

Juho Hellsten from Aalto University ran a series of collaborative art workshops, some of which started already on the cruise.  Here is the latest result 🙂


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Visit to Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – The Second Day

On Friday, December 2nd, we returned to UFRJ for an open talks seminar day. First, Peter Tapio and Mikelis Studers gave a presentation of the Aalto Design Factory. The Brazilians were positively surprised of the fact that DF offers support to all students in the different faculties of Aalto University.

Pedro Nascimento and Henrique Gomes gave the second presentation about Fluxo Consultoria – a non-profit company that helps with start-ups involving undergraduate students. The management team doesn’t get salary but the revenue from the projects is reinvested in the company. The team’s aim is to offer a fresh business experience that will be able to make a positive change in Brazil.

Tapani Alasaarela gave the third presentation about the Aalto Entrepreneurship Society. The aim of Aalto ES is to create a start-up ecosystem of high-value growth in Finland comparable to the Silicon Valley. The main barrier is to change the Finnish entrepreneurship mentality and give opportunity to start-up life around the globe.

Designer Bernardo Senna gave a talk about his work that consisted many areas of design. His aim is to create simple products that can show totally different options to the customer. Professor Atônio Morim gave the fifth talk about brand positioning that involved eg. fuzzy branding and pattern recognition.

Antti Virolainen gave a presentation about Kassi system – a communal lending and renting web service. It was initially designed for the Otaniemi campus but there has been interest in using it on other campuses and communities around the world as well. Also, some Brazilian students showed interest in taking a similar system into use in their own campus area.

Antti Vassinen gave a presentation titled “Marketing Metaphysics”. It was a new viewpoint of marketing theory that derived elements from both Western and Eastern philosophy.

Altogether, the presentations spawned a lot of discussion with the Brazilian students. The day was a long one but very thought-provoking.

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Claudio Portugal – Against destructive mutidiciplinarity and the colonisation of design

This lively, engaging and passionate lecturer talked about a controversial subject in FAU USP on the first day of our AoW Final Exhibition: The porbelms of multidiciplinarity in the field of design. The message was, that multidisiplinarity is good if it brings new ideas to a field, but when outsiders present themselves as experts in a new dicipline without actual competence, the quality of that dicipline tends to erode. This issue is most problematic when it comes to education and teachers without the right education.

One of the reasons behind this direction of destructive multidisiplinarity is the rise of relativism according to Claudio. He thinks that people don’t have the nerve to value things anymore as good or bad. Everything is though to be equal but different. So there is no good or bad design anymore, just “different” design.

As a closing note, he wants other diciplines to come and help make design better, but not to take over and change the field of desing from the outside.

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TEK-SEFE-Ornamo workshop on board Vision of the Seas

TEK-SEFE-Ornamo workshopDuring the cruise, a diverse team of 18 students from all schools of Aalto University gathered together to discuss and develop the future of labour/professional organizations in two three-hour workshops.

Under scrutiny were TEK, SEFE and Ornamo – one for each school of Aalto. First, we examined the workshop group’s current perceptions of these organizations and got to know and analyze what exactly they are offering to their members. Then, we discussed how the changing nature of work and other trends will affect these organizations in the future. How should they communicate and what services and benefits should they offer to be relevant and reach as many people as possible in 2020?

The result was some enlightening analysis of the current situation, as well as interesting viewpoints on the future. We came up with several concrete, small-scale suggestions that would further the organizations’ goals and could be implemented even today, such as improvements on the way masters level students are reached. We then produced more philosophical, farther-reaching contemplations on what roles the organizations could play in the future: maybe the correct way would be to move towards a facilitator of open, honest, two-way discussion between employers and employees, without taking sides so strongly. We also discussed the benefits of centralization of certain functions such as lawyer services and all-around deeper collaboration between all labour/professional organizations. The workshop was a great success, and we look forward to seeing what kind of actions our report will generate in TEK, SEFE and Ornamo.

More information

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Aalto in Sao Paulo!

We arrived in Sao Paulo on Monday evening.  Some of us had visited Penedo, a small Finnish colony on the way, and some of us visited a nuclear power plant at Angra.  Yesterday was Independence Day, so we were invited by the Finnish embassy in Brazil to celebrate.  Right now, the AoW Exhibition is going on at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), and we have many days of great exhibitions and workshops from the students of Aalto, and displays of work we have done during our cruise.


Photos to come 🙂

Bom dia! -Reina

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Visit to Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Lab OceanoOn Thursday December 1st – our first day in Rio de Janeiro – we visited the university of Rio de Janeiro, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. During the day we visited three different sites on the university campus.

First destination was school of fine arts, where we visited a drawing class and several exhibitions. Next, we were taken to Lab Oceano, a testing facility for ocean conditions. It has one of the biggest water tanks in the world for simulation purposes. Final destination was a startup incubator, where we had a discussion with the head of the incubator.

All in all, we spent a nice way at the university premises and most importantly, got first glimpse of relaxed Brazilian way of organizing things.

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Passenger ship architecture course

The course Passenger ship architecture (2 ECTS) was held during the cruising part of AoW. The course is the first part of the Cruise & Ferry Experience module provided by Aalto University School of Engineering. The course was lectured by M.A. Markus Ahola and contained five lectures covering themes of what is a cruise ship, what are its functions and how a cruise ship is developed as a product. Also passenger functions and cruising experience were considered. Using the knowledge from lectures we created new concepts from the approaches of cabin, community, brand and wow-architecture to produce future cruise ships concepts.

The course was interesting and a lot of fun. The lectures were held mostly outside a class room, and creative spaces like a Jacuzzi and the sun deck were used. The different points of approach in concept projects were easy to dig in and got ideas flowing well. Especially those who can add this course into their degree gain advantage in their studies, but also those who can’t learned useful skills of group working, project management, communication between disciplines and overall knowledge of passenger ships.

-Niklas Ilkka

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Collective Painting workshop pt 3

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Thoughts from the Design Factory 2D Workshop

Peter’s log, day 7

Here we are in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, having a workshop with around twenty people, the topic is creative thinking. The leisurely surroundings offer great opportunity for relaxing, but the absence of normal work and routines leaves us plenty of time to have workshops. Some even successfully mix business and pleasure by working on the sundeck or even in a jacuzzi.

In our workshop we try out different methods for idea generation to learn about creative problem solving, but we also use topics that are real and interesting. The results of our workshop might even be displayed or even tested at later parts of our trip, when we hold various events in Brazil. The participants are active and keep generating new and interesting ideas, I think we’ll get some great results.

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IDBM on the go: crew environment

IDBM on the go: crew environment

We are three IDBM students cruising with Aalto on Waves and working on a very interesting project together with Royal Caribbean Cruises – the public spaces for the crew on board of our cruise ship.







It is part of the course “Special Project in IDBM” with the teaching team:
Prof. Dr. Jack Whalen / Aalto School of Arts & Design
Design Ethnography

Prof. Dr. Turkka Keinonen / Aalto School of Arts & Design
User-Inspired Design

Dr. Tuuli Mattelmäki / Aalto School of Arts & Design
Design Probes

Prof. Dr. Mikko Koria / Aalto School of Economics
Design Management

Fernando Secomandi / TU Delft
Service design

The idea of the course is to do a design research project with the crew of the Vision of the Seas to identify design opportunities in the crew public spaces & create a concept based on the insights.
The project consists of a collaborative research part on board the Vision of the Seas as well as a co-creative workshop together with fellow Aalto on Waves participants and crewmembers.
Although we are already identifying design opportunities during our research, we will concentrate after the ship journey on concept development and refinement.








For immersing into the crew’s life, we will use various methods of collaborative research such as probes, empathy and affinity mapping as well as ethnographic methods such as shadowing and observation.

More information about the actual research process will follow 🙂

– Thomas

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