Health and Wellbeing Architecture Summer Intensive 2020 (Online)


Please notice that this page is for the 2020 edition of the course. You may browse the page to find out what this course is all about. For information on courses for summer 2021, please see


The Health and Wellbeing Architecture Summer Intensive offers graduate students, doctoral students, practicing architects, healthcare planners, healthcare practitioners and international guests an opportunity to come together and deepen their competencies in the field of design for health and wellbeing. 

Led by professor Laura Arpiainen, the August 2020 Intensive will center on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are challenged to create a concise strategy, intervention or a policy suggestion based on the course contents. International participants are encouraged to bring project ideas from their respective countries.

This highly interactive and interdisciplinary class is completed 100% online (updated June 25).

Aalto students get credit for the intensive (which includes a pre-class assignment and a post-session reflection paper), other participants are offered a Certificate of Attendance.


The purpose of the course is to offer a broad cross-section of ideas, observations, challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID 19 pandemic.  Students are offered freedom of choice on which perspective they wish to approach their intervention through.

Some possibilities include:

  • Healthcare – how do we design for this type of surge capacity? How can acute care facilities cope and adapt? How can community and outpatient services continue in the safest ways? How can we support good mental health during pandemics?

  • Housing – how can our homes adapt to all these unexpected new needs? Living? Working? Running a school? Being sick at? How does multi-locality change things?

  • Urban Health – what changes are taking place with air quality? Transit? Safety? Access to nature? Age friendliness? How can urban planning account for unexpected needs?

  • Residential Care – what has happened in care homes? How can we prevent it ever happening again?? How should we house seniors? Would multi-generational solutions work better?

  • Global issues – what are the repercussions of broken production chains? How can we alleviate flash poverty? Do we understand the warnings of famine and mass displacement?

  • Work Environments – what are future offices going to look like? Will there be offices at all? Where and how will people work?

The learning objectives of this one-week intensive include:

  • critical thinking and action-oriented attitude

  • collective brainstorming

  • tackling complex, multifaceted problems

  • understanding failures as opportunities for big progress

  • creating an individual intervention in a selected focus area

  • raising awareness and pandemic preparedness competencies individually, collectively and globally.

Confirmed lecturers include: Architect Tye Farrow (Canada), Urban Planner Reid Ewing (USA), Co-housing specialist Salla Korpela (Finland) Seniors’ housing executive Dr Eeva Ketola and philosopher and author Lauri Järvilehto (Finland). The list is in formation.

Session times

Mon Aug 10: 10 am – 5 pm

Tue Aug 11: 10 am – 5 pm

Wed Aug 12: 10 am – 5 pm

Thu Aug 13: 10 am – 2 pm

Fri Aug 14: 10 am – 2 pm presentations

Basic information

  • Language
    • English
  • Grading scale:
    • Pass / Fail
  • Course level
    • Doctoral level course (also suitable for Master's students and professionals)
  • Credits
    • 3 ECTS

Tuition fees

Non-Aalto Students: 950€


The official registration period for the course has ended. If you still would like to inquire about an opportunity to take part in the course, please send an email to Laura Arpiainen ([email protected]

Aalto University Learning Centre

Intensive course looks for sustainable design solutions following COVID-19

Health and Wellbeing Architecture Summer Intensive gathers multi-disciplinary perspectives to create new interventions, designs, and policy recommendations for pandemics.

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