A night at the galaxy – students of IDBM Challenge created a multisensory space journey


Have you ever dreamt about exploring space? Or simply wondered if you will be able to spend a night up there during your lifetime? These were the questions that the students of IDBM Master’s programme asked – and the end result was a space odyssey.

Students of IDBM presented their final work at Space Odyssey event in Kellohalli. Photo: Laura Nissinen / A21 Helsinki

Aalto’s IDBM Challenge is the introductory course for Master students of the International Design Business Management Program. The course brings together students from diverse educational backgrounds, and provides a setting for combining theory with practice.

At the beginning of the three-week course students were presented two challenges. Based on foresight and social dreaming, their task was to create future scenarios related to the implications of the new space race, and create an engaging event where they would present the outcomes.

A multisensory space journey

How do we exercise in space? What are the implications of space mining in 2037? What kind of services will we need when space tourism increases exponentially in 2047? The thought-provoking Pecha Kucha presentations crystallised the IDBM Space Odyssey.  

This year IDBM collaborated with the Student & Innovation House in Copenhagen, Denmark; a student-driven innovation organization that aims at providing its members with opportunities to change the world through positive impact.

First two weeks two teams in Copenhagen participated remotely, and for the third week they joined the teams in Helsinki to create the joint multisensory final event: IDBM Space Odyssey.

IDBM Challenge: Bend your skills

IDBM Challenge is a hybrid course based on challenge-based learning. Students are presented with a complex challenge to test and forge their skills, and are taught to recognise and harness the unique working styles of their team members – as well as their own.

The purpose is to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning while at the same time focusing on solving real-life challenges. Digital spaces and learning by doing help students develop skills that are useful in the future.

‘Although this is a compulsory course for our students, both major and minor, our vision is to make the course open for everyone, and currently we are discussing with students from Copenhagen Business School if they would like to be our pilot students. Completing the course would include the same elements as our students here at Aalto go through ‘, says Visiting Assistant Professor Miikka Lehtonen.  

The course website serves as an interactive window to the world of IDBM and IDBM Challenge. The episodes can be freely utilized also in other courses. In addition to videos there are assignments and other useful references.

‘The IDBM programme is all about multidisciplinary teamwork, managing ambiguity and innovation, these can not be formalised or standardised to the same extent as other disciplines, they need to be experienced. We encourage our students to not just comprehend theoretical frameworks but also reflect on their tacit knowledge, their cultural beliefs, mental models as well as skills and capabilities’, says Katharina Schilli, Course Designer and lecturer.

Innovation thrives when multiple disciplines and design practices converge.

‘We want active learners, not just consumers of information but producers of knowledge. With the website we also want to explore how our students can become active partners in the course creation’, says Theresa Berg, Course Designer and lecturer.


Read more:

IDBM Challenge

IDBM Master's Programme