Regular programming to resume

By | December 9, 2021

The semester ends next week. I want to go back to regular blogging which I’d begun in earnest back in March 2021. I am very pleased with my courses.

We made that vacuum cleaner nozzle as part of an intensive doctoral level programme on 3D printing and circular economy concepts. Our partner for the project was Helsinki’s Oodi Library, an architectural eyecatcher in the middle of the city center.

We designed a pop-up exhibit which I hesitate to share here as the design is original and by one of our team members. I would hate to see it copied. That was my first design sprint ever. I am of the school of thought that believes in taking one’s time before finally arriving at an idea or concept of what you want to do. That is not to say that there isn’t a place and role for such rapid outputs – they are a starting prototype that can then be refined over the course of the initiative. It is just that I recognize my own nature prefers the background filled in and the landscape map outlined before arriving at the concept design/s.

The courses I’ve taken from the Creative Sustainability programme have been giving me the concepts and language I need to contextualize my work in the contemporary discourse of transdisciplinary design.

We had an intensive 4 full day participatory methods and facilitation skills workshop on a former Swedish military installation on a tiny island 5 mins by boat from the edge of Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto. You give yourself away if you write Park after that although it is true that Kaivopuisto is a famous city park. Every year on Labor Day, every university graduate, regardless of age, comes out to picnic and meet friends. Its one big college festival. It starts on Walpurgis Night the day before. Wappu in Finland means Kaivopuisto. My first was in 2009.

I learnt how to socialize with classmates. In a facilitated manner. We’re all far more gentler with each other, those of us who attended that class. We’ve seen each other stutter and fail and learnt to exchange p2p energy with each other in a non-conflict oriented way. I think this striving for vocal harmony, rather than absolute consensus, means that the fundamental culture of learning and sharing of knowledge and information is well designed to suit the needs of cross-cultural communication. I attended a City of Helsinki event yesterday that invited foreign born designers to come and hear about design opportunities with the government in Finland.

and

I was there before it started. I watched it happen.

I haven’t felt so refreshed in years. Taking classes with students mostly with parents in my age group has reminded me of the rush of creative energy that hanging around a design school brings in its conversations, its ongoing narrative threads.

If you’ve ever wondered about going back to University, this remote home zoom life pandemic time is perfect.

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