Design Factory virus is spreading around the world

7th Design Factory launched in Portugal, as the Porto Design Factory inauguration took place on Monday May 11th

Design Factory Global Network is a group of innovation platforms around the world, which are all based on the Design Factory model developed in Aalto University.

The newest member officially joined the network as Porto Design Factory (PDF) had its official house warming party on May 11th for the newly renovated 1000m2 building on the Asprela campus of Porto Polytechnic (IPP), in the city of Porto. In many ways the inauguration is a celebration of the work that has already been going on for more than six months, as collaboration between PDF and Aalto and the rest of the Design Factory Global Network is well under its way, with IPP students already participating in Product Development Project –course in Aalto, and PDF students joining the ME310 course coordinated from Stanford for the next round of industry projects.

president serving breakfast

Kalevi Ekman and the president at the breakfast.

Rui Coutinho, who explains his role as the PDF fire-starter, sheds light on the reasons behind the project. “IPP wanted a meeting point, to be able to bring the community together, to get rid of the existing barriers for collaboration. In addition, it is also the best possible platform for IPP to collaborate more with industry, to be a catalyst for the socio-economic transformation of the whole region.”

Jussi at PDF opening

Jussi Hannula, who previously worked at Aalto Design Factory, at the opening of Porto Design Factory.

The slogan for PDF students Go global – Stay right here stems from the opportunities that the PDF offers for its students. Rui explains: “We also wanted to work more with our international partners and to learn more from new pedagogy that has been rising from Aalto University, so we look passionately to Design Factory Global Network and collaboration with the partners there to create new experiments and projects.”

Kalevi “Eetu” Ekman, a guest speaker at the opening ceremony was thrilled to experience the atmosphere of PDF: “The energy and the good vibe here in Porto Design Factory is almost tangible. The excitement and passion of PDF people to support learning is a perfect example of a group of dreamers, who not only have a dream and a vision, but also the skills and the courage to take things forward. With this kind of partners the global network nicely supports not only the mobility of students but also industry partners and researchers.”

PDF is open to all collaboration, if you are interested to find out more, contact DFGN coordinator Päivi Oinonen ( or Rui Coutinho ( )

allowed to create

Porto Design Factory got it’s own hugging point and wall space that allows to create.

Porto Design Factory is an experimental co-creation platform for interdisciplinary education, research and industrial collaboration, as well as a catalyst for a culture of experimental and problem-based education to promote better learning outcomes and an entrepreneurial mindset. It brings together all disciplines of Porto Polytechnic, mixing Technology, Business and Design. Porto Design Factory’s goal is to support world-class development in the contexts of education, research and practical application and entrepreneurship, as well as to catalyze and spread a culture of student-centric problem-based learning, collaboration across boundaries, and continuous development both within Porto Polytechnic and the wider society.

Design Factory Global Network now has seven members. Aalto Design Factory (Helsinki), Aalto-Tongji Design Factory (Shanghai), Swinburne Design Factory (Melbourne), Duoc UC Design Factory (Santiago), IdeaSquare @ CERN (Geneva), Design Factory Korea (Seoul) and now Porto Design Factory (Porto). Three more Design Factories will launch in 2015 in Riga Technical University (Latvia), in NHL University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands) and in Philadelphia University (the US).

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