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Laura-Maija Hero

Born December 1, 1970, Helsinki

Master of Arts (aesthetics), University of Helsinki
PhD student 2015–, University of Turku (educational science)
Career change studies 2008–09 (pedagogy, art education)

Lecturer (cultural production) and innovation coach 2009–, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Director of marketing 1997–08 (visual mobile services, smartphones, campaigns, brand leadership) Nokia Oyj
Exhibition secretary, the Artists’ Association of Finland, Finnish Painters’ Union and Kunsthalle
Teacher 1996–97, School of Arts and Design, Aalto University

Thesis Competition (best supervisor 2011 and 2012)
Enterprises in Helsinki Thesis Competition (best supervisor 2013 and 2014)
Nokia Achievement Award (for the innovation and productisation of full length films on mobile phones)

Written by Laura-Maija Hero (Kaija Hartikainen ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memories at the University of Helsinki

From my student days, I particularly remember a project-style course on environmental aesthetics where we students were given the challenge of the Lahti bypass, which was then in the planning phase, and its examination from the perspective of aesthetics. We were all invited to Hyvinkää to the large country home of our teacher’s mother. We cooked together, walked in the woods, and discussed and pondered things. A practical case of environmental aesthetics illuminated all those theories that we had tirelessly learned and written about.

The academic discipline of aesthetics now appeared in a new light – as an important fundamental science of multidisciplinary encounters and the phenomenology of perception, with important significance in the practical world. Meeting other students taught me much social agility, genuine interaction, the communications of convincing and influencing, argumentation, commitment, even the marketing and selling of one’s own ideas.

Playing tag with a lollypop in your mouth. Photo: Laura-Maija Hero.

I became more courageous and enthusiastic, and my self-confidence grew. I realised that I could cope in non-routine situations when confronting the new. I realised that creativity and innovativeness are good things where a real problem is concerned and that proactivity is still worthwhile: together we also had to achieve visible results.

Together with Pauline von Bonsdorff, we wrote the book Ympäristöestetiikan polkuja (‘Paths in environmental aesthetics’), which is by nature a work of art but at the same time a work of scholarly philosophy.

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