Aalto University: Kone Foundation donates 800 000 euros to Aalto University’s area of art and design

The Foundation’s donation is part of the government matching funding campaign that will run until the end of June 2022.

During more than a year of dialogue with universities, a perception emerged that the situation of arts research and artistic research in Finland is in particular need of support.

The decline in basic funding has meant that universities are working with very limited teaching and staff resources especially in the humanities and arts. The cuts in core funding made by the Finnish government in 2016 are visible in the everyday life of universities.

“In the spirit of academic freedom, we wanted to know whether universities can still research subjects that are part of the university’s cultural mission, but perhaps not the hottest area of research at the moment,” says Ulla Tuomarla, Director of the Kone Foundation.

“We believe that an understanding of art and culture is an essential part of the educational mission of universities. Art and culture are an important part of human well-being. It is also important to maintain the interdisciplinary nature of basic research, because no one can predict what will be needed at any given time. The donation to the five Finnish universities is, we hope, a reflection of the Foundation itself: a strong belief in the arts and humanism, and a commitment to diversity,” says Tuomarla.

“We are very happy about this donation! The arts, especially art research and artistic research, are areas that deserve this support. Creative professionals such as designers, architects and artists are masters of facing the complexities of today’s world, looking at things holistically and creating inspiring visions for the future. These skills may yet rise to unprecedented heights and deserve greater recognition and space. I am grateful that the Kone Foundation recognises the importance of art and its research and is helping Aalto University to contribute to their advancement,” says Tuomas Auvinen, Dean of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University.

Based on Aalto’s strategy and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s own research priorities, artistic research will be strengthened and given new content in areas related to sustainable development and digitalisation. Highlighting sustainable development through artistic research methods opens up a topical global issue to society and the economy at large. With the support of the Kone Foundation, the aim is to strengthen this body of artistic research.

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