First Aalto LAB took place in Shanghai, it was an innovative publicity campaign for the recently founded Aalto University.

  • It sought to put into practice Aalto University’s mission by building an interdisciplinary and intercultural team of students who collaborated with the aim ofmaking the world a better place.


Aalto LAB Mexico (ALM) was set up to become the case study of Claudia Garduño’s doctoral dissertation titled Design as Freedom, within the community called 20 de Noviembre, located in Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico.

  • ALM has been evolving as a pedagogical experiment where a truly diverse team of students and an equally diverse network of mentors make use of collaborative design methods. The process is facilitated by teachers and professors from Aalto University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Ciudad de México, under the supervision of Greg Perez and Hei Cheng, from IDEO (facilitators in Aalto LAB Shanghai)


Crowdfunding campaign


Matleena Muhonen, coordinator of the Sustainable Global Technologies Programme agreed to include the project into their studio course. Additionally, Muhonen and Garduño wrote a grant application for the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which turned out to be positive, and ALM was awarded EUR 28000.


In March, Garduño defended her doctoral dissertation and her stable affiliation with Aalto University came to an end. Nonetheless, she became a partner in the recently formed Mexican NGO, Design Your Action A.C. (DYA), and together with Muhonen, they envisioned the possibility to continue the connection and share responsibilities. While Muhonen and SGT can continue to refine the research and ideation of project ideas, DYA can be in charge of fundraising for their implementation.



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