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Aalto University takes sustainable development expertise to China

The goal is to achieve new partnerships and business activities in China.

Aalto University is focusing on new collaboration with the Chinese Tongji University and Finnish partners to assess the Chinese market for urbanisation that is in line with the principles of sustainable development. The goal is to achieve new partnerships and business activities in China in solutions related to learning, living and working environments, among other things.

‘Future solutions for urbanisation cannot always be based on the construction of new buildings for different activities. It is important to find ways to share resources better and to provide services in new ways. China has woken up to the challenges posed by urbanisation. This offers new markets for Finnish skills and expertise,’ says Professor Jarmo Suominen of Aalto University, who specialises in service architecture.

The aim is to develop partnerships in China based on Finnish expertise in design, resulting in the possibility of producing more cost-effective and human-centred living environments. Collaboration is part of Aalto University’s large Living+ programme creating better living environments and also part of Energizing Urban Ecosystems EUE programme.

According to Suominen, a central issue is to get the users of the environments to participate in the planning. The aim is to challenge traditional production-based thinking in which the users are the objects of planning.  In a service-centred model, customers become participants with whom environments and the ways of using them are planned.

As an example of service-centred planning, the Tongji Lounge will be opened on Aalto University's Otaniemi Campus this autumn. It will be a display window for Tongji University in Finland and a gateway to China for both Aalto University and its partners.

Opening at Shanghai's Radical Design Week 20-24 October

Aalto University is organising a seminar called City on Demand during the Radical Design Week taking place in Shanghai on 20-24 October 2014. New working methods in the fields of future urban planning, architecture and design will be created in the seminar workshops while testing their growing markets in China. Finnish co-creators include the City of Espoo, Rovio, KONE and Flexim Security Oy. Also taking part are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and the Royal College of Arts (London). The Radical Design Week is organised by Aalto University, Tongji University and the Radical Design Week Foundation.

Further information:

Professor Jarmo Suominen
Aalto University
+358 44 304 9465
[email protected]

Project Manager Krista Kinnunen
+358 50 385 4555
[email protected]
Aalto University

facebook.com/radicaldesignweek
twitter.com/rdwshanghai

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