Connecting theory and practice
Tua is one of the co-founders of the Design Factory. As a professor of practice appointed to the Design Factory and the head of its research, her work revolves around understanding, teaching and developing co-creation efforts, turning ideas into improvements in different contexts: design, entrepreneurship, management, and teaching.
Tua heads research at the Design Factory, looking into co-creation and the impact of the Factory, promoting innovation and empathy in engineering education, and how entrepreneurial opportunities are produced. In addition, she manages the externally funded research projects Design Plus and DesignBites, investigating how design thinking can change the way companies organise for innovation and how collaborative experimentation can give rise to new opportunities. Outside of Aalto University, Tua is one of the associate editors of the Journal of Engineering Education, the highest ranking journal in engineering education.
On the teaching front, Tua is a part of Design Factory efforts to promote developing university teaching. She teaches responsible innovation in Mechanical Engineering in Society, Design thinking in Innovation Projects, Service design tools for creating change and design innovation in executive and professional education.
Tua has a DSc degree in work psychology from the Aalto University School of Science, and an MA degree in cognitive science from the University of Helsinki.
Recent journal publications
- Björklund, T.A., Mikkonen, M., Mattila, P. & van der Marel, F. (2020). Expanding entrepreneurial solution spaces in times of crisis: Business model experimentation amongst packaged food and beverage ventures. Journal of Business Venturing Insights.
- Björklund, T.A., Keipi, T. & Maula, H. (in-press). Crafters, explorers, innovators, and co-creators – Narratives in designers’ identity work. Design Studies.
- Björklund, T.A., Maula, H., Soule, S. & Maula, J. (2020). Integrating design into organizations: The coevolution of design capabilities. California Management Review.
- Sheppard, S.D., Björklund, T.A., Chen, H.L., Gilmartin, S.K., Atwood, S., Reynolds Brubaker, E., et al. (2020). Connecting people and ideas: Making sense of a research lab through creating a shared frame. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(2).
- Björklund, T.A., Keipi, T., Celik, S. (2019). Learning across silos: Design Factories as hubs for co-creation. European Journal of Education, 54(4), 552-565.
- Björklund, T.A. & van der Marel, F. (2019). Meaningful moments at work: Frames evoked by in-house and consultancy designers. The Design Journal, 22(6), 753-774.
- Björklund, T.A. & Krueger, N. (2016). Generating resources through the co-evolvement of entrepreneurs and ecosystems. Journal of Enterprising Communities, 10(4), 477-498.
- Rekonen, S.M. & Björklund, T.A. (2016). Perceived managerial functions in the front-end phase of innovation. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business,9(2), 414-432.
- Rekonen, S.M. & Björklund, T.A. (2016). Adapting to the changing needs of managing innovative projects. European Journal of Innovation Management, 19(1), 111-132.
- Clavert, M., Björklund, T.A. & Nevgi, A. (2014). Developing as a teacher in the fields of science and technology. Teaching in Higher Education, 19(6), 685-696.
- Björklund, T.A. (2013). Initial mental representations of design problems: differences between experts and novices. Design Studies, 34(2), 135-160.
- Björklund, T.A., Bhatli, D., & Laakso, M. (2013). Understanding idea advancement efforts in innovation through proactive behavior, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 15(2), 124-142.
- Björklund, T.A., Nordström, K.M. & Clavert, M. (2013). A Sino-Finnish initiative for experimental teaching practices using the Design Factory pedagogical platform, European Journal of Engineering Education, 38(5), 567-577.
Development Expert, Researcher
Maria is providing practice-driven pedagogical mentoring in the fields of design, business, and engineering. Her research interests include pedagogical change agency and design-based learning in engineering education.