Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Participants will be exposed to with a diverse range of case studies, theories and methods of working across and beyond disciplines. By the end of the course they will have acquired practical tools methods and theoretical frameworks with which to reflect upon their own transdisciplinary practice.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 27.10.2020 - 01.12.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Bassam El Baroni, Pia Euro

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Laura Beloff, Patrizia Costantin, Bassam El Baroni, Pia Euro

Contact information for the course (valid 05.10.2020-21.12.2112):

Patrizia Costantin

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Transdisciplinary practice is one of the core features of Aalto University and it is emphasisedzed in the Master of Arts studies in Visual Cultures Curating and Contemporary Art (VICCA) program. Rather than addressing art only with past traditions, studies in VICCA train thinkers and artists for the future through diversity of research-based approaches. Navigating Transdisciplinaryis a mandatory ViCCA course that presents a range of theoretical and practical facets concerning work and collaboration across disciplines. Whether you are a physicist working through video games, a biologist who makes graphic novels, an artist who works with bacteria, or a performer working with international banking; this course will support you to situate and reflect upon your ongoing investigations. Navigating Transdisciplinaritywill initiate thinking towards questions that are related to societal developments, challenges and also ponder over the role of art in society and in the world at large.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    This course is compiled of selected series of lectures by people from a variety of backgrounds who have been asked to discuss their perspective and practice with transdisciplinarity (curators, art & science practitioners, organisers, artists, ViCCA-faculty with diverse expertise). 

    The aim of this course is not to provide you with an overview on transdisciplinary theory. This planned set of sessions aims to open up a discussion on and around examples of transdisciplinary projects, ways of working within this framework as well as issues and problematics that can emerge from it. 

    The students on the course are expected to reflect on their own background (knowledge, skills, expertise, learnings in life) and on one’s future potential of combining new diverse knowledge grounds to the existing ones. The course exercises are done primarily in small groups (when possible to do so online) and/or individually. 1) The final project proposal is entirely based on group-work. 2) The 1 page of A4 critical reflection is instead an individual piece of work. Together with in class participation (80% minimum means you can only miss one session), these 2 assignments will form your final grade.

    All sessions to be held online - Zoom links to be shared closer to the date.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Coursework and course participation.

     InsideCourse Time: Lectures & in-class exercises (30%)

    There will be a series of in-class presentations and readings

    Participation will be followed by a critical essay assignment.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    You will be asked to produce a proposal for a transdisciplinary project in groups. You will work on this in class but also independently. On the last session 1st December, each group will pitch their project to the rest of the classroom.  Presentations are 20 minutes max + 15 minutes time for Q&A 

    You will also submit a critical reflection on one of the talks (or 2 elements from 2 talks) by external speakers. This will be max 1 page of A4.

    You will be focusing on one or two aspects of transdisciplinary
    thinking. You should integrate knowledge from your readings to sustain your
    critical reflection.

    Further details will be discussed at the first session on Monday 27th October.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact 42h, independent work 93h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Will be provided in syllabus

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Essential readings will be distributed before each session when the speaker requires you to prepare for the session.

    You are also encouraged to find additional readings that are linked to your assignment focus.


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    1. 27/10/2020 

    Intro to Navigating Transdisciplinarity. (Laura
    Beloff and Patrizia Costantin)

    Assessment information and intro to afternoon activity. (Laura Beloff and Patrizia

    12:00  Lunch 

    13:00-15:00 Psychogeography Task
    – Individual activity wherever you are.

    (Instagram upload as
    homework after session)

    Laura Beloff - lecture.


    2. 3/11/2020

    9:15-10:30 – Max Ryynänen
    - lecture.

    10:45-12:00 – Riita Hari - lecture. Aalto Distinguished Prof. (emer.), Academician of Science, Hari is a neuroscientist. Special interest in two-person neuroscience and in the the dynamics of human cerebral function.

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00-14:30 - Group work on project
    proposal ideas with

    15:00-16:00 – Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola (Helsinki Biennale) Talk and discussion. 

    Siitari is Head of Exhibitions of Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) and Tappola is Head of Public Art and Helsinki Biennale Chief Curator.

    3. 10/11/2020

    9:15-10:30 Patrizia Costantin’s lecture.

    10:45-12:30 Group work on project proposal (tasks, responsibility and planning) with Patrizia.

    13:30-14:30 – Erich Berger - Talk and

    discussion. Berger is the director of Bioart Society.

    15:00-16:00 – Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola (Helsinki Biennale) Talk and discussion. Siitari is Head of Exhibitions of Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) and Tappola is Head of Public Art and Helsinki Biennale Chief Curator.

    4. 17/11/2020 

    9:15-10:30 - Bassam El Baroni - lecture.

    10:45 -
    12:00 – Questions – group work. Guided individual
    work on reflection with Patrizia.

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00-16:00 – Kira O’Ŕeilly – talk and workshop. O’Ŕeilly is an artist and leads the MA program for Ecology and Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki. 


    5. 24/11/2020

    9:15-10:30 – Bartaku Vandeput – talk and
    discussion. Vandeput is an artist and researcher with a background in Social Sciences (Lic.), and self-educated in the arts and science. 

    10:45-12:00 - group work (prep presentations) with Patrizia

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00-17:00 (tbc) – Lucy Davis – session


    6. 1/12/2020

    All day:
    Presentations - 7 groups.

    9:30 - 9:45 Intro and feedback exercise

    9:45 - 11:00 - Group 1 (Veera, Elina, Sarah) and Group 2 (Maikki, Fanni, Anastasia and Nitika)

    11:00 - 11:15 break

    11:15 -
    12:30 -  Group 3 (Selina, Anna, Miklas and Jana) and Group 4 (Mika, Laura, Emmi and Justina)

    12:30 -
    13:30 lunch

    13:30 -
    15:30 - Group 5 (Kirsi-Maja, Stella, Felix and Jaakko), Group 6 (Heikka, Paul, Scarlet and Anna), Group 7 (Eline, Kirsi-Maria and Tiina)