Radical interpretations of nature

Dipoli, Otakaari 24, Espoo

According to Dipoli opening times



Radical Nature- the art concept for Dipoli, rises from the historical, nature bound architecture by Raili and Reima Pietilä from the 1960’s. Once entering the building one cannot avoid the sensational spatial feeling with almost no square spaces. Instead, there is an overwhelming continuous amount of new exiting spaces. The building itself continue to impress with changing forms and materials: ceilings are of different levels and tilted, walls are made of rocks, fireplaces are huge (and still working). The architectural ideas are still vivid and clear after 50 years of planning.

“For Reima PIetilä, architectural space was as changing as the climate, as unsettled as clouds, as shifting as light, as resonant as landscape, and as allusive as cultural echo.”[1] Second to the historical perspective, there is an equal need to focus on the future: how to identify and solve complex challenges, and to educate future visionaries and experts.

The vision of public art at Aalto University is to address and raise questions about what it is to be a university and what we do together in society. This is where the concept of radical comes into picture; art is powerful medium for creating meanings. The art works demand a vivid debate, a need to discuss art, echoing the original architects notion of Dipoli’s architecture being something else than “good taste”. The whole building defends the rights to be different and to enforce discourse.

All the curated artists for Dipoli are alumni of Aalto University. There are three site-specific art works in Dipoli. Sculptor Hans-Christian Berg, glass artist Renata Jakowleff, and designer Inni Pärnänen have all worked with light, patterns and a strong sense of materiality in the theme of Radical Nature. The site-specific artworks interplay with the space with humble inspiration of the architecture, still adding another powerful layer of content.

Furthermore, there is a selection of photos, which I have curated together with lecturer Marko Karo and art director Timothy Persons from Helsinki School. A collection of ceramic and glass artworks from the University´s ceramics and glass archive have also found their place in the spaces. Dipoli also acts as the pilot project of the Percentage for Art Principle at the university.

The overall curated content of Dipoli artworks present a variety of techniques and materials, which reflect some of the diversity of the whole University. Sharing and co-creating artworks within Aalto University is an essential tool in building bridges between arts, engineering and business. The aim of public art across Aalto is to create a vibrant environment for experiencing the world through various perspectives and for embracing imagination, intuition, and exploration."

Outi Turpeinen, Art coordinator/ Aalto University


Aalto University implements the art percent principle


The Dipoli art catalogue is available on site at Dipoli.

[1] Ed. Roger Connah 1997: Raili e Reima Pietilä: An Unknown architecture. Torre Colombera. GalloArti Grafiche, Vercelli. p. 22.