ME310 Aalto is a Master’s level global innovation program – and one of the most intensive, yet rewarding project courses taught at Aalto University Finland. Students of design, business and engineering come together as interdisciplinary teams to work on a year-long real-life challenge brought forward by an international company.
During this year they partner up with students from one of the top universities in the global ME310 network (called SUGAR) to form a global design team. Their final proof-of-concept prototypes are displayed at the Stanford Design Fair each June at Stanford, California.
The latest completed projects during the 2015/16 academic year at Aalto were:
- Kongsberg, in collaboration with University College of Southeast Norway: Defining the future of semi-autonomous truck driving
- Lapeyre, in collaboration with Paris Est d.School: Redesigning the kitchen for the elderly
- Merck, in collaboration with HSG (University of St-Gallen): Improving the patient journey
- Shoe INN, in collaboration with Stanford University: Facilitating the transition to enter the clean room
For the duration of each project, every team collaborates with another team from a foreign university. This partnership adds diversity to the project teams, and students are given the opportunity to experience true global collaboration. All teams begin their projects at Stanford University, where they participate in design thinking workshops and experience the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley. The course is now taught in seventeen different universities on four different continents. You can find more information on the network at sugar-network.org.
Below is a map of the network from the academic year 2015-2016, along with a taste of the kickoff event at Stanford.
Through the course of the project, students learn, apply, and experience the Stanford Design Innovation Process. The process is based on needfinding, benchmarking, iterative prototyping and user testing to enable students to learn quickly about the field at hand and create innovative ideas. User insights are uncovered and creative solutions are developed, engaging a range of different design thinking tools and techniques. The end result is a detailed design solution that integrates desirability, viability and feasibility.
What Students say
It’s much faster to test things than to argue about them.
And it’s much faster to show things than to talk about them.
Pekka Perunka, 2014 Alumnus
You don’t learn to tackle with ambiguity, take responsibility, prototype in quick iterations or bootstrap better in any other course than ME310.
Tuukka Kingelin, 2011 Alumnus
2nd day at new workplace and again I see how ME310 experience will contribute to my future here.
Michelle Ngam Lam, 2015 Alumnus
What Companies say
I think the biggest learning is how much you can achieve by bringing people from the outside to get a fresh perspective and give them some time and some freedom to think about stuff and come up with creative new ideas. The amount of output and new insights is just amazing.
Timm Püller, 2013 UBS Corporate Liaison