Factories: workshops for novel expertise
Design Factory, Health Factory and Media Factory act as joint platforms combining the expertise of Aalto University’s schools in product development, health and wellbeing, and media.
The Factories are designed to facilitate new forms of collaboration in an environment where academic teams, researchers and students work together with companies and communities. The themes of teaching and learning are an important part of the Factory activities – the new knowledge produced by research is smoothly transferred to teaching.
The Design Factory is a new open environment for the research and education on product development. Situated on the Otaniemi campus, the Design Factory offers modern facilities of 3 000 m² for the cooperation researchers, students and companies. The Design Factory accelerates the change in the Aalto University culture of operation and teaching by supporting interdisciplinary and problem-based learning and research.
The Design Factory architecture, operation models and methods inspire its users to engage in new kind of cooperation. In the Factory, theory meets practice: the shared large prototype workshops, exhibition rooms, library and lounge area form a multifunctional meeting point for its users.
The group work facilities and rooms of the factory have been designed to allow flexible use 24/7, and also companies may use them in the spirit of ‘open innovation' .
The original idea for the Design Factory was born in an Aalto University workshop in summer 2007, but the previous collaboration projects of the three schools also helped its establishment. As regards fields of technology, the Design Factory is connected, among other things, to electrical engineering and electronics, automation, architecture, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, computer science, and industrial engineering and management.
The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is represented by the fields of textile art and clothing design, industrial design and environmental art. The School of Business is linked to the Factory through marketing, international business and innovations..
Design Factory website (aaltodesignfactory.fi)
Health Factory, the newest factory in Aalto University, was established in the beginning of year 2013.
There is a demand for companies in the field of health and well-being in societies around the world, and Finland has the expertise and knowledge required for this. Health Factory is a process that channels expertise to where it is needed.
Health Factory aims to find solutions for health and wellbeing related problems with a social significance.
An example of possible problems to be solved could be new methods required in the cognitive rehabilitation of stroke patients, which is something the Department of Electronics has developed in cooperation with the Helsinki University Central Hospital.
One of the aims of Health Factory is to create new business activity. A successful solution can be used as a foundation for a new business or may be incorporated as part of an existing company.
The solutions are assessed by case-specific mentoring groups and clients affected by the solutions. Among the mentors are representatives of Aalto University, University of Helsinki, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tekes, and Aalto University Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Health Factory website (elec.aalto.fi/en/research/health_factory)
The Media Factory is an open network bringing together the researchers, teachers and collaboration partners specialized in media and communication. It aims at identifying new interesting areas of media research and at launching joint research projects, curricula and courses between the Aalto University schools.
The collaborative network of the Media Factory was launched in autumn 2007. Its activities cover the entire materials and communication chain from raw material to message production, formation and reception. Its focus areas are, for instance, the media behavior of the future, the media industry and the role of media in society.
The two first Media Factory research projects are Enactive Social Media and Gaming, focused on electronic media and the gaming culture and Doing Cross-Media: Technology Production and Consumption, a project examining media production and consumption. Both projects probe into topical media phenomena and analyze their impact on society at a variety of levels.
Media Factory website (mediafactory.aalto.fi)