Stories Kompit

“A new world revealed”

“By all generations English is widely spoken”

Kompit, Thailand, Master’s Degree Programme, International Design

Kompit from Bangkok in Thailand has studied European Design in the Scottish town of Glasgow and in the German city of Cologne. Now, he says, he has found the design school he likes best: The University of Art and Design (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architechture), in Helsinki.

“In Glasgow we were mainly studying classical design. Cologne already opened my eyes concerning specialized younger design fields, such as service design and gender design. But when I came to Finland, a new world revealed. In Helsinki design is taught as a main strategic element in marketing and management. The teaching approach is more comprehensive and interdisciplinary, including economical and technological aspects.”

Kompit studied European Design at his home university in Glasgow. Within the programme it was obligatory to spend two years at two other European design schools. Kompit chose Cologne and Helsinki. When he came to Finland he so much liked the school that he decided not to return to Glasgow, but to finish his studies in Helsinki.

“One of the best things at our school is that the teaching adapts so fast to new research results and trends. We have got lecturers who are always up-to-date.”

Kompit is also looking forward to the launch of the so called Innovation University in Helsinki, which will take place in August 2009. “I think this is going to be a huge step for the education of young designers. You will have the chance to study truly interdisciplinary and combine scientific approaches from the fields of design, technology and economics.”

The Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Technology and the University of Art and Design will merge to a new educational institution consolidating the fields of design, technology and economics.

The student from Thailand also appreciates the close cooperation between his university and the private sector. “As a student, for instance, you have to take part in a project carried out with a Finnish company. During one year and together with a group of students and employees of the company, you develop and complete your own design project. Due to the close cooperation, there is a solid financial support from the private sector and the equipment of the university is state-of-the-art.”

Kompit only criticizes the lack of general information he experienced in the beginning of his stay. He didn’t get a general introduction to the Finnish culture, official holidays, opening hours of the shops and so forth. Anyway, he says, he could easily gain this information himself as nearly all of the people in Helsinki – not just the young ones – are very good at foreign languages. “In Helsinki by all generations English is widely spoken. One day, I walked around in the city centre and I must have looked a bit lost. A Finnish woman nearly eighty years of age, approached me and asked with a British accent: ‘Excuse me, Sir, may I help you to find your way?’

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