Category Archives: Events

SEMINAR: Redesigning Production Systems – New Luxury from Biodiversity


Redesigning Production Systems – New Luxury from Biodiversity is the final seminar of Crops4Luxury project. Kirsi Niinimäki from FTF will be giving a talk about eco-luxury, design and sustainable fashion.  The seminar is organised as part of the Helsinki Design Week 2019.

Time: 5.9.2019, 12.16:00
Place: Helsinki University, Porthania, lecture hall P674, address Yliopistonkatu 3

Special crops and the raw materials derived from them provide sustainable and new luxury to our life. Crop systems need to be redesigned so that circular economy and biodiversity are taken into account. At the same time soil fertility, carbon sequestration and biodiversity should be improved. The production of different plant-derived raw materials will enhance bio-based business possibilities. In developing on-farm upgrading methods, it is possible to integrate farms into the value chain and reform their traditional role in the production of raw materials. Plant-based products can be recycled as well.

At the seminar, the results from the PeltoLuksus – Crops4Luxury project, coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute and funded by Sitra, on the value chain and the formation of new luxury from quinoa, caraway and woad will be presented.

The seminar is  free of charge and its held in Finnish.
Registration required by 31.8.2019.


More information about the seminar program:


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MA Julia Valle Noronha will defend the dissertation Becoming with Clothes. Activating wearer-worn engagements through design on Monday 16 September 2019.

Opponent: PhD, prof. Otto von Busch, Parsons School of Design
Custos: Prof. Kirsi Niinimäki

Time: 16.09.2019, 12:00 – 14:00
Place: Undergraduate Centre, Hall H304,
address Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo

More information: 

Becoming with Clothes explores paths to more active relationships between people and the things they wear. It offers reflections on a matter that touches us all: the ways humans and clothes interact. The work departs from the critical discussion on how fashion, as a field of knowledge and practice, has prioritised investigations on visual perception and cultural values. This priority marginalises other agencies that affect the fashion system and encourage unengaged relationships. To activate wearer-worn engagements, two iterative clothing design projects are developed and examined through lived experiences via a research through design approach. The results of the study speak of the potential of surprise and open-endedness as tools to render visible how wearer and worn mutually affect each other – or in other words, how they become with. This dissertation invites fashion designers, researchers and wearers to be open to clothing’s ability to act, and highlights the experience of wearing as a powerful space to be explored.

BSc in Social Communication and MA in Visual Arts, Julia Valle Noronha is a designer-researcher interested in rethinking how we relate to clothing and fashion with an aim for more responsible futures. In her doctoral research she explores the topic through design and philosophy. Her fields of interest in research and practice revolve around wearer-worn engagements, alternative modes of producing, consuming and experiencing clothing, as well as intersections between fashion, technology and arts.


The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at Väre (Otaniementie 14), 2nd floor, corridor leading to Fazer A Bloc restaurant, at least 10 days before the defence date.

Link to audience etiquette and dress code of the public defence.

EXHIBITION: New Silk – What Can We Learn From Spiders?

NewSilk02_72ppiPhoto: Pirita Lauri

The exhibition New Silk – What Can We Learn From Spiders?  is part of the official programme of Helsinki Design Week 2019.

Where?   Väre building, FK Lobby, Otaniementie 14, 02150 Espoo
When?   September 5-26, 2019

The NEWSILK research project studies new ways of producing sustainable materials in the future, especially how to produce new types of silk-like materials in the context of synthetic biology. The project team consists of scientists, material researchers and design researchers with textile expertise.

The goal is in the far future: how to design and produce material attributes at the DNA level through genetic engineering. The original inspiration for this project was the spider’s way of creating materials for its web using “spider silk”, a luxurious and sustainable material with properties that surpass existing synthetic materials. Collaboration between design and fundamental material science offers new tools to create and communicate alternative views into the future. Throughout the project, the designers have been inspired by synthetic biology, trying to imagine what these new designed and engineered materials mean for the future.

In this exhibition, textile designers who are also members of the NEWSILK research team have explored artistic ideas and thoughts which have been raised during the project.

Working group:
Pirita Lauri, Pirjo Kääriäinen, Kirsi Niinimäki, Department of Design, Aalto University; Markus Linder, Department of Material Science, Aalto University; and doctoral candidates and researchers from the University of Helsinki.

The research project is a collaboration between Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, and is part of the BioFuture25 programme by the Academy of Finland.

The exhibition is part of Aalto University’s Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition ensemble in Otaniemi, Espoo.

More information:
NEWSILK research project
New Silk – What Can We Learn From Spiders?
Helsinki Design Week
Designs for a Cooler Planet

EXHIBITION: Natural Indigo – New Luxury from Northern Fields

peltoluksus_MG_8525_Eeva_SuorlahtiPhoto: Eeva Suorlahti. Design: Arttu Åfeldt.

The exhibition Natural Indigo: New Luxury from Northern Fields is part of the official programme of Helsinki Design Week 2019.

Where?   Väre building, Bridge K2, Otaniementie 14, 02150 Espoo
When?   September 5-26, 2019

One fifth of the water pollution caused by global industry is due to the dyeing of textiles and the synthetic chemicals used in the process. Some regions of the world already have polluted groundwater because of the textile industry’s activities.

From 2018 to 2019, the Crops4Luxury (PeltoLuksus) project studied special crops that could replace synthetic textile dyes sustainably and ethically. Blue is the rarest color in nature, and in Finland, a crop called dyer’s woad (värimorsinko) yields a non-toxic blue dye. Already centuries ago before chemical colors were developed, dyer’s woad was used in Europe for production of textile dyes. Today this ancient plant dye can be cultivated on a large scale and used in industrial textile colouring processes.

The exhibition at Helsinki Design Week showcases how design can enhance the aspect of added value and eco-luxury in the context of a bio-economy. We need alternative approaches to the current fast fashion system, and through an eco-luxury approach we can build a new understanding towards a more sustainable future with fewer synthetic chemicals and a less damaging environmental impact.

Crops4Luxury was a collaboration project between Natural Indigo, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) and Aalto University. The project was funded by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

Working group:
Kirsi Niinimäki, Pirita Lauri and Essi Karell, Department of Design, Aalto University; Natural Indigo; researchers from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE).

The exhibition is part of Aalto University’s Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition ensemble in Otaniemi, Espoo.

More information:
Helsinki Design Week
Natural Indigo: New Luxury from Northern Fields
Designs for a Cooler Planet


World Circular Economy Forum – Aalto University side event 5.6.2019

Combating climate change by circular economy and systemic change: closing the material loops and creating new business possibilities

The 3rd World Circular Economy Forum will bring together around 2 000 key circular economy thinkers and doers from around the world. This year the forum will have a strong emphasis on the next era of the circular economy and scaling up the transition.

Aalto University is proud to host one of WCEF2019’s side events. In the seminar, experts and innovators reveal how closing the material loops can slow down the climate change and create new business possibilities. Topics vary from water systems, algae and nutrients to textiles, battery metals and systems perspective for reducing overconsumption. Professor Kirsi Niinimäki from Aalto University will present “Closing the material loop and transforming the fashion industry”.

When: 5.6.2019 10:00 – 12:00
Where: School of Business, Aalto University, Ekonominaukio 1, Espoo, Lecture hall Jenny ja Antti Wihurin säätiö

More about the program:


SWAP! - FashionRev_Page_2

F/T Futures is hosting a swapping event as part of the Fashion Revolution Week 2019! Feel free to join us!

When_11:00-14:00, Friday, April 26, 2019
Where_Aalto University, VÄRE building, V1 Gallery,
Otaniementie 14

How does it work?

1. Donate gently used items: clothes, shoes, or accessories.
2. Come and choose donated items to take home with you (up to the number you donated).
3. Enjoy taking part of the Fashion Revolution week!

For more information: manuel.ariasbarrantes(at)


sustainable_fashion_kannet_malliWelcome to begin the new year with Aalto Arts Books Talks!

Aalto ARTS Books will officially launch professor Kirsi Niinimäki’s book “Sustainable Fashion in a Circular Economy”. In the event
Niinimäki and doctoral student Essi Karell will be discussing the topic from various perspectives.

Time: February 5, 2019, 4-5pm.
Place: Aalto University Shop, Otaniementie 12, Espoo

See also the Facebook event.



Doctoral Dissertation: Namkyu Chun

Namkyu_Dissertation_CoverMFA Namkyu Chun will defend his doctoral dissertation
Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking
on Thursday 15 November 2018.

Opponent: PhD Pammi Sinha, University of Leeds
Custos: prof. Kirsi Niinimäki

Time: 15.11.2018, 12:00 – 14:00
Place: B-200 Nokia Hall at Aalto University School of Business Töölö campus, Runeberginkatu 14-16

More information:

Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking discusses the social role of fashion designers. It departed from the encounter with the mystification of what they actually do and the unclear contribution to society as a profession. While critically reflecting on design thinking approaches that have contributed to the expansion of design, this book also questions if design can be generalized without the careful understanding of cultural differences among subfields of design.

Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers invites a dialogue embracing the material and immaterial worlds of fashion through two studies in Helsinki, Finland. The metaphor of weaving is adopted to not just interlace the narratives of the studies but also to be used as a piece of fabric patchworking the gap between design and fashion. The two studies were constructed to both recover and rediscover fashion designers. The notion of recovery is presented in relation to the meaning of the fashion design pro­fession in the contemporary fashion system due to certain prejudices. Meanwhile, the notion of rediscovery is tied to the prac­tice of fashion designers, especially the ignored tradition of dressmaking and their shared culture. The results suggest both rethinking what they are capable of and exploring possibilities to expand their role. The studies woven together present an original contribution of fashion designers as engaged actors of society beyond image-making.


The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at Väre (Otanimementie 14), at least 10 days before the defence date.


In Exhibition: 10 000 years of design – Man, matter, metamorphosis

Innovations developed in research projects DWoc and Trash-2-Cash  will be presented in a curated exhibition 10 000 years of design – Man, matter, metamorphosis. The exhibition focuses on the unique development of Finnish material culture and design as a result of a specific dialogue between society and ecosystem.

10 000 vuotta muotoilua – Ihminen, aine, metamorfoosi -näyttely esittelee DWoC ja Trash-2-Cash -tutkimusprojekteissa kehitettyjä innovaatioita. Näyttely haastaa meidät pohtimaan ihmistä osana ekosysteemiä sekä ihmisen suhdetta materiaaleihin ja esineisiin.

Time: 12.10.2018-24.2.2019
Place: The National Museum of Finland / Suomen Kansallismuseo

More information:

Research Café on Materials

Multidisciplinary Meetings for Material Research Enthusiasts


What_Research Café on Materials
When_11.10. and 27.11., 13:00 – 16:00
Where_Mordor / Otakaari 5

F/T Futures warmly welcomes you to the Research Café-events, that invite researchers from the different schools of Aalto University to share their latest insights and learn new perspectives related to materials research in Aalto.

The events are organized by Aalto University Research and Innovation Services and Materials Platform, with F/T Futures actively participating in the planning. In the first event Kirsi Niinimäki and Pirjo Kääriäinen will briefly introduce some insights into circular economy and multidisciplinary material research.

The purpose of these events is twofold: to introduce new perspectives through scholarly discussions, and to create possibilities for multidisciplinary encounters and recognizing common research interests among the participants, that could for instance lead into new joint projects.

There will be two Research Café – events this autumn: the first one serves as an introduction and opens the discussion, that will be deepened in the latter event. The first event consists of two parts: first, researchers and research groups will introduce variety of perspectives into materials research, that will then initiate the participants into discussion.

Registration to the first event is open:

More information: and