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Design Thinking am Polarkreis – Turku 2024

In February 2024, a group of 20 students and three teachers from ITECH embarked on a two-week striking trip to Finland. There, in collaboration with RASEKO vocational in Raision, we not only participated in an instructive Design Thinking Workshop but also engaged in many compelling activities amidst the astonishing winter scenery.


1 At RASEKO, in the FabLab and the results of the workshop

On February 5th, our first day at RASEKO, we were warmly welcomed and introduced to design thinking, the problems of our inspirers Soundscape and Pemamek and got to know our teammates for the next two weeks. The workshop’s goal was to develop a solution for a customer’s problem. Since every team chose the local welding company Pemamek, our main task was to design a prototype of an energy monitoring device for them, with the specific prototype varying from group to group. However, the enlightening inputs of the workshop encouraged us to think outside the box and approach the problem from various angles. Moreover, since the students at RASEKO specialized in informatics or electronic systems, the groups were able to combine both fields, leading to compelling outcomes. Consequently, some groups could present quite an elaborate minimal viable product after the two weeks.

2 Ice skating and Turku Castle

Among the most memorable experiences at RASEKO were the amazing free lunches (truly some of the best meals I’ve ever had – no exaggeration here) and the FabLab. The FabLab is an outstanding maker space offering access to 3D printers, laser cutters, an embroidery machine, and much more. There, under the guidance of exceptionally friendly and supportive staff, we delved into creative product designing, crafting our own T-shirts, stickers, and bags. The FabLab undoubtedly stood out as one of the many highlights of our trip.

3 Rovaniemi

In addition to the workshop, we participated in a variety of activities in Turku after school hours, undeterred by the frozen and extremely slippery ground. These activities ranged from winter sports like ice skating and cross-country skiing, to visits to museums and landmarks such as Turku Castle, as well as attending metal concerts and indulging in karaoke. Surprisingly, karaoke proved to be quite popular in Finland and was readily accessible.

4 Helsinki

Furthermore, we ventured to Rovaniemi on the first weekend and Helsinki on the second. Both weekend trips were absolute highlights, brimming with unforgettable experiences. In Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus and near the Arctic Circle, we reveled in a picturesque winter wonderland, with temperatures dropping as low as -25°C. However, personally, I consider Helsinki the pinnacle of our trip. Helsinki captivated us with its allure, boasting the world’s most phenomenal library, exceptional museums, awe-inspiring architecture, and a plethora of remarkable free-time activities, including karaoke once again.

All in all, our exchange to Finland was a fantastic, fun, and spectacular experience that I will cherish forever.