The Aaltoliike concept, created by Laura Isoniemi, is an interdisciplinary product design course at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The Aaltoliike concept was rewarded as a promising business concept in the Aalto University’s Idea Competition, held in the spring of 2009. The first Aaltoliike Project took place in February 2010 and it has been held since on an annual basis.
I developed the Aaltoliike course based on an idea combining design, marketing and technology.Student projects have included tasks such as the development of a business idea for a store and the design of corporate gifts for the top management of Aalto University. In a recent course, students created artworks and postcards for the Aalto management from recycled books.
Characteristics of the Aaltoliike project are the application of the Aalto brand and visual identity to various products, as well as the integration of creativity and sustainability in the design exercises and exhibition projects.
Teaching sustainability My teaching experience at the Aalto Creative Sustainability study programme has led me from the Helsinki Arabia area to Shanghai, where my teaching responsibilities have included prototyping workshops, design projects for University campus surroundings, and the Tongji-Aalto cooperation.
At the Aalto University Media Factory, I have collaborated in a multi-disciplinary, international Package project, which focused on the design of sustainable packaging. A joint environmental course in 2011-2013 focused on the potential impact of art on sustainable development.
Art teaching – Experimental methods
My art teaching is based on experimental learning methods.Valuing coincidence, seizing the moment, and identifying and realising possibilities are core factors in the study of creativity. In the design exercises, I try to link the student’s existing skills and experiences with new ideas and techniques. Shared evaluation and making oneself visible are key methods, while it is also important to learn to explain and reflect on one’s own works.
Pattern Lab, an experimental methodology course that I taught at Aalto University in 2011-2014, has been popular for its insightfulness and applicability. I teach an Introduction to Design course and experimental textile techniques with similar themes.
Art teaching - experimental fabric printing
My longest teaching experience is in fabric printing and dying. The teaching of different techniques, including dying with special attention to rhythm and colour remains very important to me. It is rewarding to teach beginners, because their thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm is catching. The students are BA and MA level. My style of teaching is relaxed, with experimental, applied tools and methods, and a good flow.
Teacher exchange in Tongji University, Shanghai, China (Surface design and artistic expression for MA-level students, 2014 and 2013) and in Margaret Trowell School of Fine Arts, Makere University, Uganda (Creative sketching techniques for BA-levle students, 2007).
People are the same everywhere in the world. I am inspired by collaboration through art and design, be it in Uganda or China. My way to international teaching work was paved by the International Design Business Management studies programme (2008-2009) and the multi-disciplinary Paris-Helsinki project (2004) of the University of Art and Design Helsinki, currently the Aalto University.