Last weekend Aalto Design Factory was turned upside down once again and played host to the first Aalto on Fire Art Installation workshop. We gathered 20 amazingly creative and exceptionally talented individuals – artists, engineers and business students - who didn’t mind dedicating their entire Saturday to the project.


We aimed at an event, which would inspire creative collaboration to enable people to get a taste of Burning Man community. Gladly, our participants started to share their inspirations to our Pinterest board way before the workshop. It was so encouraging to see that folks already have a vision of what they want to bring to the project.



In order to get to know each other, we started from a short introduction. Our organizer Andrew took the lead. He is an experienced teacher and his job is to help youngsters to express their creativity. To tune in such a mixed team, he has used his “Giraffe and a tree” method. The backbone of this method is draw a giraffe and a tree, where spots on the giraffe represent personal skills and the tree depicts goals that one wants to achieve participating in Aalto on Fire. The exercise was very useful in the sense that each participant was able to communicate his or her own involvement in a creative manner. It also helped the organizers build a greater unity within a group and to discover our known and unknown skills we had at our disposal. See our giraffe farm here:

2015-05-23 14.31.29.jpg



After having a good laugh at our giraffe farm we realized – it is happening. From that moment we were a tribe, we were together and there was no way back. We are ready to move on to our next stage - ideation. Andrew passed the ball to our engineering guru Peter. Peter coaches Aalto PDP students and knows everything about prototyping. He leads the technical part of the project. Peter prepared an ideation exercise, the aim of which was to create something great within a group. At first we were given 15 minutes to sketch the installation based on the guiding principles of the Burning Man community. Then, we formed pairs to share and combine our drafts. Not much to our surprise, several people had similar ideas, and started building upon them. At the final stage we formed larger combined groups and prepared the final concept. Each project, although shaped in a different manner, represented the spirit of Burning Man and Aalto University – gathering - unity - collaboration.

2015-05-23 16.13.52.jpg



The rest of the day we were busy shaping our ideas into a physical prototypes and figuring out technical details. The installation must comply with the Burning man guidelines, e.g. be technically safe, interactive, use technology in a creative manner, sustainable and preferably burnable. At the end of the workshop we had 3 solid projects/prototypes, each made with excitement and joy. Which one will make it to the Burning Man? Follow up our Facebook group for the latest updates.

2015-05-23 17.49.29.jpg



When work comes with a sense of satisfaction and good results, there’s always room for celebration… so we did so with a traditional Finnish grill and sauna.

2015-05-23 18.23.16.jpg


“What can be better than having a barbeque on a sunny day, especially after the great work is done?”