Credits: 10

Schedule: 31.10.2018 - 07.12.2018

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Anna van der Lei

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Kirsti Taiviola, teacher

p. 040 700 8543

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The aim of the course is to encourage students to refine and articulate a personal approach to the discipline and improve skills in communicating ideas and getting familiar with the co-operative nature of glass making practices. The course provides an environment for action where students are encouraged to explore both material and conceptual manifestations of glass. The main objectives of the course are to: (1) Deepen the understanding of the characteristics of the material and its aesthetic as well as expressive qualities; (2) Support the self-managing of the creative process with documentation, reflection and discussions. At the end of the course the student should be capable of exhibiting the projects/artefact(s) and presenting the concept and process of making to others.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

On the course students approach glass as an artist's/designer’s medium and investigate hands-on its material, conceptual and expressive possibilities. Depending on the yearly changing theme, the course highlights process, artistic sensibilities or social and environmental responsibility incorporating design, sculpture, architecture and/or craft. Students refine their ability to think and communicate through a multifaceted medium and seek a personal approach to the material and its aesthetics.


The task is to design and realise conceptual or utilitarian artefact(s) using glass as the core material. The assessment starts from doing background research, sketching and presenting the concept ideas and then proceeding to hands-on studio work and resulting in the making of the actual piece(s) in glass. The concept development, designing and evaluation are processed theoretically in project seminars.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

The theme of the Glass Challenge course is Water. We will collaborate with Aalto ENG's water research team, Finavia and Nuutajärvi Cultural Foundation. The idea is to find ways how to express and manifest different water-related topics through glass. 

The course begins with a joint workshop with the water research team and the 5 topics are opened up more in detail then. Students will work in teams of 4-5 people to develop their art/design concepts on the given topics. The task is to create projects that can be exhibited in vitrines or on pedestals at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport's baggage reclaim terminal (see: ). 

The course requires hands-on working in the studios. We'll practice glass cold working and kiln working techniques. Glass blowing is done in collaboration with our studio master & professional glass blowers. 

We will make a full-day tour (6.11.) to Nuutajärvi Glass Village and Tampere University Hospital's Dialysis Unit. Glass Artist Markku Salo will lead us on the tour. 

The outcomes from the course will be exhibited at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport from January 2019->.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The students can utilise the glass studio and other studios when elaborating their individual tasks and producing the final artefact(s). This work is supported with tutoring sessions, shared discussions, lectures and possible excursions. For passing the course, the student has to participate in lectures and group activity (80%), and present the final artefact(s). After the course, the student has to deliver a learning diary. Evaluation criteria: activity during the course, the creative process, quality of the final artefact(s) and learning diary.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

270 h

Briefing, reviews and lecturing sessions 30h

Individual or small group tutoring 30h

Independent art/craft/design work 160h

Learning diary 20h

Personal reflection 30

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Will be announced in the beginning of the course.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 



Priority to Contemporary Design students and Product and Spatial Design students who have this course accepted in their personal study plan. 

The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards (approved by The Committee of Arts, Design and Architecture on 10.10.2017)

The order of priority is as follows:

  1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
  2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
  3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
  4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
  5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
  7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
  9. other students.


Courses that are intended to be multidisciplinary (e.g. UWAS courses) may apply an order of priority based on the learning outcomes of the course, while bearing in mind the university obligation of enabling students to complete their degrees within the normative duration of study set for the degree. The order of priority does not apply to courses organised by the Centre for General Studies or doctoral courses.

This decision on the order of priority does not influence the right of the teacher to define prerequisites for the course.


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Max 15 students. Please notice that the enrolment time ends two weeks before the course starts. The acceptance will be informed to all applicants one week before the start of the module.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

PLEASE NOTE THAT COURSE RUNS UNTIL FRI 7.12.!!!  (not 14.11. as it's written in Weboodi)

Exhibition building happens in mid-January 2019 which will probably require some time & effort from all or some participants.


Registration and further information