Professor of Graphic Communications, curriculum specialist
Tapio Vapaasalo has been a professor of graphic design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki since 1998 and has taught in the university's various educational programmes since 1971. Parallel to his teaching activities he has worked as a graphic designer - both as a freelancer and in his own design office - specialising in the publication and book design areas. He has also worked as a trainer and curriculum consultant for numerous associations, companies and universities. As a graphic designer Tapio Vapaasalo has won several awards in the "Best of the Year" and "Book of the Year" competitions beginning in 1983, and has also served on the juries of several graphic design competitions.
At the University of Art and Design Helsinki Tapio Vapaasalo's teaching area covers the fundamentals of graphic design, the history of graphic design, visual journalism, publication and book design, as well as information design. Besides his teaching duties he is responsible for the overall development of the university's graphic design education. Developing the curriculum requires a thorough knowledge of design processes and the ability to formulate planning methods that will enhance the professional skills that students acquire through their studies. Besides teaching and its development his tasks as a curriculum specialist include the organisation of daily operations as well as the creation of the prerequisites for a positive educational atmosphere and job satisfaction.
One of Tapio Vapaasalo's main objectives is to promote international co-operation among the world's leading schools of graphic design. He is convinced of the importance of global partnerships because it is becoming an increasingly important way to improve the quality of design education.