Zero Gravity : radical creativity by multidisciplinary collaboration

Günther H. Filz*, Serenay Elmas, Athanasios Markou, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Saurabh Deo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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In June 2013, the report “ARTS+ENG, Future Collaborative Academic Models at Aalto: Cooperation between the Schools of Arts, Design and Architecture, and the School of Engineering in Aalto University,” was published. The most significant collaboration endeavor between the schools was the project work course, here referred to as The Synthesis Studio, a platform for multidisciplinary collaboration, which first has been established as ARTS-ENG Project Course in 2016. Since then the course underwent a transformation from disciplinary oriented, thematic baskets to the “discipline-free” topics of “Zero Gravity”, always in mind that its pedagogic intent is to lay an early foundation for the formation of trans- and multidisciplinary skills in future levels of study and to trigger radical creativity. This paper looks into the ideas of radical creativity and presents the backgrounds and the constant development of the project course as a major experiment at Aalto University, including its challenging pedagogical and logistic tasks, but offering unparalleled opportunities to create multiple cross connections in the beginning of the undergraduate studies. In 2019, the course was accompanied by creativity tests, an Alternate Uses Test (AUT) and a ShapeStorm (SS) Exercise, investigating the course´s impact and its significantly positive effect on students' creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia
Place of PublicationGuildford,UK
PublisherInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS)
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAnnual Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) and the 7th International Conference on Spatial Structures - University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 202127 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia
ISSN (Electronic)2518-6582


ConferenceAnnual Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) and the 7th International Conference on Spatial Structures
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • radical creativity
  • multidisciplinary teaching
  • creativity test
  • structures and architecture


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