The picture shows the students working on the Aurora project in a workshop.

– Valuable experiences for our future careers

In “Entrepreneurship in Art and Design” the students are assigned to work with relevant businesses to put their learning into action.

This gives them valuable work-life experience with working together as a group in realistic projects.

‘This project has given us the opportunity to have someone to look at our brand with new eyes. We needed some ideas and inspiration to how we could reach a younger audience,’ says Anne Gro Fjeldheim, design manager at Aurora Verksted.

She has been working at Aurora Verksted for several years and have good experiences working with students. 

Aurora Verksted is a social entrepreneurship for people with or without disabilities. Their goal is that their employees have a meaningful job, and that they value good and timeless design. 

They focus on sustainability, and they are working towards several of the UN sustainability goals.

This triggered the students:

‘We liked what Aurora Verksted stand for and thought it would be very interesting to work with them,’ says student Inda Vaizovic.

Brainstorming ideas

‘We had a start-up meeting with Aurora Verksted to get more insight in their challenges and what they needed from us.’ 

‘They wanted an outside perspective of their business and reach out to a younger audience. They wanted to look into ways of telling their story and getting it out there,’ says Vaizovic.

‘After that, we went back to school and started brainstorming and structure our ideas, what we thought we could bring to them,’ says Vaizovic. 

As the next step, the students worked with design thinking and business model generation tools to develop concepts they could present to Aurora Verksted.

However, they admit it can be challenging to work together as a new group.

‘The first thing we did, was that all group members took a Belbin-test. This is a method for identifying competences and delegating group roles easier by considering each group member’s self-perception.’

‘We learned that you must master the social part and work to get to know each other to form a team.’

The process helped the group getting started, however the roles changed as they started working. 

‘The first weeks we were all sick at some point, which delayed the process. However, when we had put this behind us, the project took a great turn and we were able to get progress,’ says Vaizovic.

Learning on different levels

‘I am impressed with the group and how they turned their challenges into something positive and really made progress,’ says Petter Øyan, professor at OsloMet. 

He believes the experience the students get from working together is nearly as important as the project theme. 

In the meetings with the Aurora team during the process, the students have experienced the value of dialogue and personal meetings in creative processes.

‘This experience will be useful for them into their working life as well, no matter what career path they choose,’ says Øyan.

‘When we got the workflow started, we made some eye-catching posters to put outside the store. We also suggested Aurora

Verksted to focus more on social media, as this is the main inspiration source for younger people,’ says Vaizovic.

The students also wanted to enhance the customer experience through storytelling:

‘We wanted to create a seating area in the store. A comfortable and relaxing area where customers can have a cup of coffee and read about the business and their story,’ says Vaizovic.

The picture at the top of the article shows the students Inda Vaizovic, Sigrid Bjelke and Rebekka Sofie Bakken Aarskog working on the Aurora project in a workshop.

The students Frøy Luna Jarlsdatter Hovind, Simone Bergh and Amy Lafferty did not have the opportunity to be in the picture.

Published: 04/04/2022 | Kari Anne Røysland