The first Finnish design event in virtual reality

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Spring Forum is an annual event organised by the Finnish design education network. The aim is to cover the current topics of the design field and to support the national collaboration of the Finnish design schools. The event organised this year at 16th and 17th April was the third and the first targeted especially for students. 

Organising the Spring Forum 2020 started with design students at the November 2019. At the co-design workshop organized in Aalto University we offered a possibility for students to organise an own kind of event and to gather insights what kind of things students are considering related to their professional future. Based on this workshop, the theme of this event was chosen to be Meaningful Future. 

Originally this event was planned to be organized at the Aalto University by students. After several twists, of which the latest was the corona pandemic, the event needed to be organized in a new virtual format within tight schedule. The theme and the Design Space platform enabling remote participation became now the most important goals.

In the end a brand-new experimental event concept was born. In this event the video content and the virtual environment took a significant role. At the game-like 3D space participants were able to see and listen keynote speaks and other theme related video contents. In addition to keynote speeches we, managed to inspire many other stakeholders from the field of design to join producing interesting material for the Spring Forum.

In his keynote speak Jussi Impiö from Demos Helsinki considered the possible futures after the corona pandemic. Julia Lohmann took the participants to the world of seaweeds and how to enable it as a material for design. To the collective designers’ greeting gathered several inspiring insights from the field to design students as well as greeting from the new Chief Design Officer of the City of Helsinki, Hanna Harris. The panel discussion facilitated by Anni Korkman considered what is the meaningful future. More about the content of the Spring Forum in the previous post.

The journey for the Spring Forum: Meaningful Future was long and eventful, but along the journey we gathered loads of insights how to organize a virtual event as well as feasibility of the Design Space environment as the collaboration platform for the design schools. Based on these experiences we are going write more in the future. 

More about organizing the Spring Forum:

Anna Muukkonen, Metropolia UAS