torstai 1. marraskuuta 2012


Shanghai 1.11.2012, Vesa Taatila

A man, whose knowledge on the subject is rather limited, can only roll his eyes and thin “Wow” out loud! A chance to see the working and the results of our students in the Radical Design Week in Shanghai (with WDC-inside -spirit) has been astonishing. During this week the students and the staff of Metropolia have done exquisite work in presenting the ideas of Finnish co-operative design thinking to international audiences.

The local media seems to agree with the feeling. In wednesday the flights were flashing like a thunder storm as the clothing students from two different universities co-operated in order to create a set of new type of hospital clothing for child patients. The bi-national teams drew and patterned with professional attitude despite the surrounding turmoil created by Chinese press. A few times the request for posing forced smiles to faces but otherwise the atmosphere was deeply focused though out the exercise. And yes, the resulting patterns looked very successful.

Another topic that has clearly risen great interest has been the computer modeling of Tai Chi. A team has motion captured the movements of a local Tai Chi –master, sifu Luka, with two kinetic cameras. Then they have been working on a deep level of post production, cleaning up the data and making the animation more life-like than the original presentation itself.

Having a computer laboratory in the middle of the exhibition room has given all the passers by a chance to see the work with awe and make questions for the artists. Lots and lots of questions! This has been a major advertisement both for Metropolia and Finnish know-how.

A major area on interest has also been the very UAS-like idea of co-operative learning in authentic situations. Empowering of students and doing real projects without a pre-planned set of “right answers” has inspired the local students and teachers to ask for more information about this approach to teaching. The interest has been so high, that this could become the next key import from the Finnish education practices – at least as a knowledge transfer, even though the financial gains would probably be rather limited.

Even though the week is not done yet, I’d like to thank wholeheartedly the team – Excellent work! I will eagerly wait to be impressed with all the other results as well – I do wonder how will the future metropolia-dwellers move around… I wonder who could give me some hints on the topic.


Vice president of Helsinki Metropolia UAS Mr. Vesa Taatila giving a presentation at Donghua University.

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