Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory, }ADD{


Katrín Ólína: Primitiva-Talismans

Katrín Ólína: Primitiva-Talismans Icelandic Designer Katrín Ólína will launch her new project, Primitiva-Talismans, in the rear garden tower of the Helsinki Observatory during Helsinki Design Week 2015. The project presents a lexicon of 40 talismans in bronze, developed with digital manufacturing technologies and produced by Finnish jewellers at Kalevala Koru. Additionally, the exhibition introduces Ólína's corresponding publication, Primitiva, Book of Talismans. It consists of 40 short texts and illustrations and can be used either as a guide to the Primitiva collection or enjoyed on its own as a collection of ideas and inspirations.

ADD machine room Opens in K2 Building

After two months of renovation and relocation of the machines to the K2 building (which is next to ADD), the new Machine Room has opened its door. The mission with this extension is to further explore the combination of digital design and various advanced manufacturing technologies. A part of Aalto University, the Machine Room is also serving the Aalto community. More information on services provided coming soon.


ADD THOUGHT #13: Allen Sayegh

The 13th address of ADD THOUGHT presents Allen Sayegh – Principal of the award winning global design firm INVIVIA. Welcome to join us for a lecture entitled 'REAL Research'. This talk will question the role of responsive technologies in design of the built environment. For more information, follow the link below.


We've just published a new ADD IN BRIEF brochure giving you an insight into what ADD does and what it aims to achieve. You can take a look here:

New Robot

The very first robot of the ADD LAB infrastructure has arrived. The still unnamed robot is out of the crate and under initialization process. It will be used to teach students and perform various tasks depending on the projects. This small fellow has a payload of 5 to 6 kilograms, but is a thoroughbred industrial robot. We are in the process of building up our infrastructure including a number of machines, an updated list has been added to the Machine Room section:


We are happy to announce that Jouni Partanen, Professor of Advanced Production Methods (Department of Engineering Design and Production School of Engineering, Aalto University), joins ADD as Director, and Director of Engineering alongside Design Director Kivi Sotamaa. Partanen has previously been the Vice President of RND, DPSS Lasers and Engineering Manager of 3D Systems in California, USA.

Watch Jesse Reiser's lecture

You can now watch 'Projection & Reception' in full on our website – a lecture architect Jesse Reiser recently presented as part of our ADD THOUGHT lecture series at ADD.


ADD THOUGHT #12: Dr. Frederik Pferdt

The 12th address of ADD THOUGHT presents Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt – the Head of Innovation & Creativity Programs at Google. Welcome to join us for a 2 hour lecture entitled "Innovate! Google style." This lecture explores various factors that stimulate and inhibit creativity and innovation in individuals, teams, and organizations. For more information, follow the link below.

ADD CAFE pop-up-café 9.4

ADD CAFE and ADD LAB did their first joint pop-up event in the Aalto University main building on the 9th April. Free coffee was served and we had two Ultimaker 2's in action for the curious.

Functional Materials Four – WINTER Seminar

ADD director Kivi Sotamaa will give a keynote speech at the 'Functional Materials Four – WINTER' seminar organized by Tekes. The event takes place on the 11th December at The Circus in Helsinki. More information about the programme and the event itself can be found on the link below.


For a guaranteed cup of quality coffee on the Aalto campus, there is now the ADD CAFE – located at ADD. Besides the coffee, ADD CAFE is also a perfect meeting spot for students, professors and visitors – so the café too follows ADD’s interdisciplinary ideals. The coffee is roasted by Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo, considered one of the best roasters in Helsinki. ADD CAFE is open from September to June 11am–5pm.



ADD is hosting two lectures by Kim Baumann Larsen of Norwegian Digital Storytelling. The first one entitled “What’s new in architectural visualization: from cinematic films to augmented reality and serious architectural games." takes place on Monday 27th January 2014 between 11–12 and the second one "Learning from the best: powerful visual storytelling in architectural visualization” the same day between 13–15.

What does 'digital design' mean to you?

Watch the ever expanding video interview series with the likes of Hernan Diaz Alonso, Andrew Witt and TESTA/WEISER in our ADD ARCHIVE section – a collection of thoughts on digital design based on a set pattern of questions.

Designing Everyday Products

"Internet of Things" is a lecture series organized by Aalto Mediafactory, and ADD hosted their latest presentation "Designing Everyday Products" with speaker Duncan Lamb. The aim with the series is to explore further how we design products and services for an evermore connected reality.

New publication: ADD SUMMARY 2013

The publication introduces ADD to the uninitiated, and it also summarizes what ADD has researched, been involved in and made happen since 2012. The publishing of ADD SUMMARY 2013 coincides with the 3D LAB organized in connection with the Helsinki Design Week.


ADD THOUGHT #11: Jesse Reiser

The 11th address of ADD THOUGHT presents Jesse Reiser of New York-based practice, Reiser + Umemoto, who will give a lecture entitled Projection & Reception. He will present the groundbreaking exo-skeleton O-14 tower in Dubai and also examine the firms two ongoing projects in Taiwan: the Taipei Pop Music Center and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal as well as the recent University of Applied Arts Vienna competition proposal. For more information, follow the link below.

ADD in Hufvudstadsbladet

Hufvudstadsbladet, the Finnish-Swedish newspaper, featured ADD in an interview with ADD's director Kivi Sotamaa. The article highlights additive manufacturing, new forms of visual complexity and potential industrial opportunities for Finland.


The Objet30 from Stratasys is ADD's first photopolymer 3D printer and one of few on the Aalto Campus. ADD staff have been given a two day crash course and are ready to test it out with the architecture students enrolled in the Biomimic Seminar.


Erratic installation

The new installation Erratic by architects Norell/Rodhe playfully explores the tension between digital precision and materials that behave erratically. Hosted by ADD and situated in ADD CAFE’s double height space, the exhibition features architectural mediations on the erratic block – one life-size installation and seven smaller objects. Opening reception with drinks: Thursday, September 19 at 5pm.


To explore how artists can utilize the potential of digitally designed objects to reach greater complexity than handcrafted objects, ADD collaborated in an art installation by the artist collective Brussels Pulp and the Aalto University Department of Art. The work “European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs and the euro” consisted of three 30cm digital sculptures of its namesake in different poses, and was exhibited in the FINANCIAL TIMES exhibition at the Mustarinda House. Technical expertise, planning, and execution support came from ADD. The exhibition opened on June 12, 2013 in Hyrynsalmi, Finland.

Project Vaihtoehto Vitriinille / Alternative Display

ADD recently collaborated with Helsinki Sport Museum on a project which aim is to provide a 3D-experience of Museum pieces for blind and impaired people. The first exercise was to rebuild the original Olympic torch of the 1952 Olympics collected by Helsinki Sport Museum. The torch was designed by Aukusti Tuhka and was made from birch wood and silver. The team photographed the torch and built a 1:1 scale 3D model which was then 3D printed with ABS material. The model will be presented in an exhibition at Helsinki Urheilumuseo in April 2014. Coordinator: Kaisa Penttilä, Modelled by Juha Wiiala, Participant: Piia Rossi, Ritva Kannel, 3D Printing: Meng Wang.


In collaboration with Aaltoes, ADD organized a weekend long 3D printing hackathon. After working with 3D design tools, printing prototypes, and discussing business models, the hackathon closed with a presentation of projects to a jury consisting of ADD director Kivi Sotamaa, designer Pekka Salokannel and Plastex CEO Lauri Ant-Wuorinen.


In a project by Kivi Sotamaa and supported by ADD, digital design methodology and novel ways of dealing with historical buildings will be explored. The project takes part in the Curator’s Exhibition of the Architecture Estonia Biennale starting September 6, 2013.


Helsinki Design Week 3d Lab

ADD participates in the Helsinki Design Week 2013 by building a 3D Lab at the Old Customs Warehouse in collaboration with HDW and sponsored by Audi. The lab presents a design-to-production environment to the general public, letting them experience the possibilities. There are special events for children, seminars and workshops.


ADD and its Director Kivi Sotamaa gave a presentation about how design manufacturing, art and (good) life are intertwined at the opening of the Samsung R&D Centre on June 13, 2013. The audience included 100 of the most influential people from politics, academia, media and the economy in Finland.


ADD participated in a one-day Mehackit workshop, where children had a chance to explore 3D-modeling by making 3D models out of laser-cut paper and then coloring them. The kids also got to know robotics, play guitar and learn coding.


A special material was produced and featured on the cover of the ADD METAPHYSICS publication. The mimetic nacre was created in collaboration with the Molecular Materials group at the Department of Applied Physics. André Gröschel, Juhana Sorvari and Maria Morits made the material at ADD. The strong yet lightweight material is a combination of polymer polyvinylalcohol (PVA) and nanoclay (Cloisite®) born from research around the microscale structures of nature’s mother of pearl, which lines the pearl oyster, freshwater pearl mussels, and abalone shell.


A celebration of the ADD METAPHYSICS publication’s launch took place at Design Museum Helsinki on Thursday 14 March, 2013. The program of the evening explored copying and biomimicry in design, artistic practice, and material science. There were also presentations from architect Ines Weizman (London Metropolitan University) and material scientist Olli Ikkala (Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University), as well as a screening of Harun Farocki’s video work ‘Parallel’ (2012).


UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s end of the year all-school exposition engages students, faculty and the international design community in a discourse on the forefront of contemporary design and innovation. Among the projects displayed were designs from Kivi Sotamaa’s ADD Opportunity, technology seminar.


Nanoshell was presented at EuroNanoForum 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. EuroNanoForum is a nanotechnology conference that presents key elements for an integrated and responsible approach and a common strategy for the future of nanotechnology research. Projects presented covered the areas of industrial technologies, life sciences, environment, energy and transport.


Erratic panel discussion

Following the opening of Norell/Rodhe’s exhibition Erratic at ADD, this open-ended panel discussion will chart fresh approaches that emerge after the surge of computerized design. Taking place at the Old Customs Warehouse in Helsinki at 7pm, a screening of models, drawings, animations and installation photographs from Erratic will be presented at the 3D Lab immediately following the discussion. Participants: Daniel Norell & Einar Rodhe, Norell/Rodhe (SE), Antti Ahlava, Aalto University (FI), Tim Anstey, AHO (NO) and Kivi Sotamaa, Aalto University (FI).


ADD is involved in an R&D venture called Soft Tower, which explores the digital possibilities of high-rise architecture. In the first phase of the project, four billboards were installed as a citywide installation around Helsinki presenting seductive soft skyscraper proposals.