Text and photos Moira Douranou
Studying in the University of Lapland is not only about reading books. Especially in the Faculty of Art and Design, short trips and excursions are a “To Do” thing. Articles and reviews have been written for the success of the Finnish Educational system, but where exactly does the secret lay? On moving around!
As part of the advanced Service Design project – included in the new Arctic Art and Design master program – we had the chance to join two excursions, both significant enough to be remembered! We were asked to improve the customer experience for the Finnish company PENTIK; and so, we had the opportunity to visit the place where everything started: Posio.
Hopped on, into two mini buses, we travelled a couple of hours till we got to visit the world’s northernmost ceramics factory, the company’s offices and studio, the Pentik-mäki Cultural Centre, the Timisjärvi Artist Residency, the Anu Pentik Art gallery and the founder/artist herself. As a student, it is great to get to know your study project in depth, but as an international person, it is even greater to discover the reality in life, in the country you live in. Finnish people are pioneers in many fields, and “making things happen”, is one of those.
Pentik’s production technology is unique worldwide,
feldspar and silica come from Finland, and the products are shaped
with plaster moulds, moulding machines, presses or by hand.
One of the key points, especially in Lapland, is the Mökki lifestyle. A week later, we got to experience a two days working in a great place, by the lake Simojärvi. There, we had the chance to work with our teams, brainstorm by the beautiful Lappish view, make a fire and grill sausages, try out some unsuccessful ice-fishing and above all, enjoy the “silence”. In such a place one can calm him/herself, or enjoy the company by the fireplace and of course, spend some time in the traditional Finnish sauna.
“Finns have a lot they
should be proud of.”
Studying in University classrooms and having the trips, made the course more interesting but also demanding. Our study results have been more productive than expected. Our team co-operation boosted our friendship, and the exchange of information and ideas, has developed our personal thinking.
Trips and excursions are definitely a “To Do” thing every international student should have the possibility to experience. And if you haven’t made a fire before, or haven’t been in sauna, do not be afraid.
North is for those who do not hesitate to challenge themselves. If you are here, it means you already belong to that group.