Aalto Built Environment Laboratory
The Story of ABE
In the spring of 2012 the Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics and Department of Applied Mechanics started to plan for a facility that would offer state-of-the-art methods and tools for designing and studying built environment.
ABE offers a space and technology for interactive human-centred co-creation of the built environment. The aim of ABE is to investigate new digitally supported and interactive planning and design methodology. Immersive modeling and simulation technologies, process modeling and data visualisations are developed to serve decision making and present ideas, visions and plans. ABE caters to the needs of multidisciplinary teams and people with different backgrounds working towards a shared goal.
The following projects have utilized the ABE platform, technology or expertise. The projects have been based in different research groups and funded from various sources. Common denominator for them is the development and usage of new methods for studying and developing our built environment.
Plan-P is an easy-to-use application for building 3D city plans and visualizing their impacts. It resembles city building games, but focuses on real city planning principles instead of entertainment. The idea of the tool is to generate discussion and participation in the visioning phase and in the general planning phase of a city area. It is an easily approachable and visually interesting way for non-professionals to participate in the discussion and create alternative city visions.
Jyrki Vanamo’s prototype demonstrates how agent-based modelling could help urban planners in their work. The prototype can be used to calculate a range of possible design solutions based on some initial data. Andreas Hall’s diagrams visualize the system architecture of the prototype making its operational logic accessible to the potential users. The prototype was created as part of PEKA research project funded by TEKES.
One of the objectives of Aalto Built Environment Lab is to study and develop new approaches to the urban planning process. Presently, ABE is focusing on the development of the Otaniemi area as a case study. The area is currently going through many significant changes which makes it an ideal living lab.
Otaniemi Walks is a Master’s thesis and an interactive 3D storytelling debut by Elisa Andretti. Andretti’s thesis was set to find out “Which are the processes capable of turning Otaniemi into Finland’s leading sustainable campus by 2020?” The end product was a facilitating tool in the form of a visual story for different players in the process to find a common ground.
Future is here. Virtually. Ilkka Kelaranta and Olli Poutanen studied in their Creative Sustainability master’s theses how to utilize virtual experience prototyping in testing future service environments. Poutanen, a researcher of kinesthetic experience, and Kelaranta, an industrial designer with a gaming background, combined their expertise to create and test a novel tool for service design.
Proteus is a new kind of tool for planning cruise ship interior layouts. The tool uses game design elements and methodology to improve upon current processes in cruise ship design. The tool was created as a part of master's thesis of Reina Magica, a graduate in New Media Game Design and Production at Aalto University.