The Future of ARTS

Photo: Valo Motion

In August 2019, the Aalto ARTS community embarked on a journey of self-organised, collective reflection. Our ongoing mission is to learn from each other, gather insights and release the innate creativity and leadership in us all. We invited our whole community to contribute to the future vision for Aalto ARTS. We took collective responsibility for the topics we care about. Not by controlling but by promoting creative chaos as our force. This is a summary of our many Open Space* community sessions, discussions and the multiple efforts and aspirations that arose from them. Nobody and everybody at Aalto ARTS owns this content, nobody and everybody can claim full credit for these insights. Our work remains in progress, and we will re-evaluate these findings on a regular basis. We are shaping a sustainable future. Join us to explore these ideas further!

*Open Space is a highly self-organised technique of facilitating.


Photo: Mortti Saarnia

We are in the midst of an ecological, technological, social and economic transformation that will fundamentally alter our way of life. The scale and complexity of this change is unlike anything humankind has experienced before. To adequately address the challenges linked to this transformation, we need collective and comprehensive new thinking as well as tangible solutions. Aalto University leads the way in this big transition by providing transdisciplinary knowledge and skills deeply integrated with design, art, business thinking, and technology. Solutions to the world’s pressing issues can be found by surpassing traditional boundaries, being bold and enabling renewal. At Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture we provide creative and collaborative approaches to problem-solving. We nurture the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to imagine the yet unimaginable. We thrive on variety, imagination and inspiration.

Photo: Mortti Saarnia

Our expertise is rooted in the fields of design, architecture, film, new media, and art. Our work is framed by our wider Finnish and Nordic context which strives for a fair, happy and secure way of life for all. We’re bringing new perspectives to pressing social issues. As part of Aalto University, our three cross-cutting approaches are linked to sustainability, an entrepreneurial mindset and radical creativity. We're making an impact: through collaboration and originality.


Photo: Mortti Saarnia

What kind of a future is the Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture striving for? Which trends will shape education and research, and the present and future of the whole Aalto community? Our mindset is not just about preparing to adapt to a changing world. Instead, we want to grasp the opportunity and power we possess to shape the future and direct it toward something that reflects our common values: courage, responsibility and collaboration. There is an unlimited number of different possible futures, and it’s up to us to create the one we want — through the decisions we make on a daily basis as teachers, students, researchers, academics and staff members. At Aalto ARTS, we share a strong ethical compass: we all want our work to contribute to creating the best possible future for the people and the planet, for this generation and for generations to come. We are actively shaping a sustainable future. How do Aalto University students see the future? A transdisciplinary student group defined five central trends that will affect our future.

From hands-on to sky-high!

Photo: Mortti Saarnia