Credits: 5

Schedule: 15.04.2019 - 20.05.2019

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

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

V 2018-2019

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course provides practical and theoretical knowledge and operating models in which aesthetic, ethical, and ecological phenomena intertwine in circular economy. The student becomes familiar with the objectives, theoretical background, practices, outcomes, and social impact that contemporary art has in the context of circular economy. The student learns to produce culture phenomena in making circular economy visible, to perceive the cultural complexity, and to work as a part of multidisciplinary co-operation aimed at changing the consumer culture. The student understands the possibilities of innovative and artistic methods in creating cultural change and can evaluate their social impact in the context of circular economy.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course introduces innovative strategies of multidisciplinary contemporary art (artistic thinking, art & science, social and environmental art, and public pedagogy) to deal with the transdisciplinary theory of circular economy, which is one of the megatrends of future research, industry, and education. Circular economy encompasses more than the sustainable production and consumption of material, goods, and services. It includes a discussion of the intertwinement of aesthetical, ecological and ethical processes. Because of this, it has become evident that more radical change of culture, education, values, and ways of living is needed for promoting circular economy. The course develops the key elements of change in consumer culture: knowledge on art and design practices and thinking as well as the significance of the production of culture. For this, it is crucial to understand not only the concrete materiality but also the mental images and the cultural and social materiality that influences consumption habits. In the course, the students work on the phenomena of circular economy through the participatory methods of contemporary art. The course uses different examples of art for grasping the complexity of circular economy in different levels: individual, community, society, and culture. They make visible aesthetic, ethical, and ecological processes that can influence the change in consumer culture.

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

The students keep a course diary (for example, in the digital form or as a portfolio), where they discuss the questions raised in the course both from the point of view of their own field and from the point of view of artistic methods and where they present the course assignments. The course diary has to be handed in to pass the course.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course works both in lectures and workshops. The course focuses on opening up multidisciplinary communication and finding creative ways of working by studying the phenomena of circular economy. Innovative and sustainable cultural practices are being developed through artistic methods (artistic thinking, participatory social and environmental art). The purpose is to raise awareness of the need for cultural change, which circular economy requires.

The workshop activities are organized in a new outdoor experimental space at Otaniemi campus, The test site for practical sustainability has been set up for putting theory into practice and ideas into action. In the course, the test site provides opportunities for the application of environmental art teaching methods in the teaching of circular economy. It enables experiments and events to be realized, when ideas are refined by co-creating. Natural and recycled materials are used but equally important in artistic thinking is a communal, social and cultural material that influences consumption habits. The workshop introduces thoughts, activities, and works of art developed during the course. At the end of the course, we will discuss how the course work and materials continue to circulate in the test site after the course.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Group work 75 hours
Individual work 41 hours

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The study material is distributed in the form of lectures, workshops, assignments and articles.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

UWAS course selection criteria: Registration order is not the primary selection criteria for this course. In order to ensure that students from different programs and schools of Aalto University may take UWAS courses, the selection is also based on the variety of students' disciplines. Master's students are also welcome.


Registration and further information