Markku Aalto PDP trip to Hamburg


During our Aalto Design Factory PdP course, the whole PdP team visited our project sponsor´s company, which is partially located in Hamburg, ZAL Tech Center. More detailed info about Aalto DF PdP experiences can be read here

The visit itself lasted for four days, which really pushed us to gather as much information as possible. During the visit we focused on gathering information, which could help us in our projects research and idea development of an open collaboration and co-creation space into industry, which could possibly be applied to ZAL Tech Centers possible extension. The information itself is composed of data, what we saw of the Tech Center layout, interviews from the staff and brainstorming ideas with our team and the sponsor.

What we saw at the Tech Center was well guided and instructed because of their security. This means, that anything that I saw or heard in detail can’t be shared outside of ZAL. Now that I’m creating a blog post about this subject, I’ll try to avoid sharing too much.

The building itself is basically a “U” shape but with sharp corners, when looking from above. Another example of its layout was explained by our sponsor, that it reminds him of the Star Trek Enterprise spacecraft. From the inside, the building is divided into sections, which are used by the Tech Centers different companies or what the staff liked to call “different partners”. The main concept between partners is that everyone brings something to the tech center platform, which could further help other occupants develop their processes and ideas. The same goes the other way around.

Many sections inside of building were closed off for only the specific staff from the partner company and only people with certain amount of clearance could enter that specific company work area. There were also spaces, which were shared between all the staff, but the amount of these shared spaces was limited to a certain degree. Thus, this is where our project comes into play. Research and design a possible idea suggestion for a shared working space for all, which also develops open collaboration and co-creation.


During the four-day visit, we also visited other companies, which used the innovation and open collaboration concept. One of these companies was Indeed Innovation “Human first in-innovation”. During the Indeed company visit and meeting with the CEO from the company, we were able to gather their view-points into open collaboration and innovation. We also got some important factors, when trying to apply co-creation into industry and what it would require from all parties.


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