We were commissioned by the City of Espoo to boost collaboration and advance the sharing of education resources between the learning labs in the Otaniemi area. Learning labs are maker labs, factories, fab labs, studios etc. that teach creative thinking through technology and art. The problem was that the collaboration between the learning labs is minimal or nonexistent. This of course is a waste of valuable resources such as time, spaces, equipment, staff, and money.
We firstly did desk research to get to know basic information about all the learning labs located in Otaniemi. We checked the amount and location of learning labs, and conducted 9 interviews with different stakeholders, including managers in learning labs and a teacher from high school. Through interviews, we understood their function, how they work, their needs and what they could share in a future collaboration. Hence, we got to see their perception on Otaniemi and other existing learning labs. We shared different findings and insights from the interviews on the mid-term presentation. Then, we organised a co-creation workshop with five people from different learning labs and local high school. This workshop gave us enough information to formulate findings and insights to further develop our solutions.
Co-creation workshop introduction
Co-creation workshop
Co-creation workshop
In the final two weeks, we analysed all the findings from the workshop and proposed 4 steps of collaboration by using 6 toolkits we designed for them.
The steps, which are described in closer detail on the final document, are based on two key factors, a core team and tools for the team to use through the following steps. Laying the foundation for a future collaboration and analysing where to target which interventions, require the formation of a core team to start the work and use the toolkit we have designed to help facilitate the process of reaching collaboration. The toolkit include six different tools to be used in pairs through steps two, three and four.
Based on all our findings and insights, we returned to analysing the learning labs from a system perspective to find the interventions that best would answer the needs of the labs. We were able to validate our suspicion from the early stages of our project, which were that the challenges are so severe, that our output will not be able to offer a long-term solution. Therefore, the most valuable contribution we can offer is to support a continuation of the work we started. Next we analysed how alternative futures, in which the imminent needs are met, could look like. We found that the strongest impact would come from connecting several if not all labs into one collaborative unit. However, forming such a unit in a system of this size, cannot be done overnight, but requires focused work over a longer time period. In order to support such a collaboration in the future, we provide a four-step plan.
By holding a co-creational workshop we got to experiment the possibility of future collaboration between the learning labs. After we analysed the insights gathered from the workshop we created tools that will support the labs in starting and maintaining collaboration. Successful collaboration will attract other labs to join as well. 
During this project we were able to visualise most of the learning labs in the Otaniemi Campus area, take care of them, connect them, and bring together a team for future care and collaboration.
Team members:
Antti Käkelä, Janne Roels, Joel Wolff, Minyang Zhang, Misael Rojas and Xueqin Gu.
Organisations involved: 
This project was realised during the course Designing for Services with the Professor Tuuli Mättelmäki at the Department of Design from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture Aalto University in collaboration with the City of Espoo.

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