Tip of the Week: Landscape think tanks reinforce students’ identity

The Tip of the Week series introduces different good practices that have been used to revise and develop our operation.

What is it?

At Landscape think tanks, students and teachers convene twice per academic year to discuss topical issues.


The dates for the Landscape think tank events are agreed on at the beginning of the term. The events are informal discussions with an agenda and memorandums so that the topics of discussion and possible decisions can be recorded for later reference. Everyone can suggest topics for the agenda, and students have indeed been very active in bringing up topics for discussion. The topics vary from course feedback and studies to organising excursions.

The tradition of Landscape think tanks began at Helsinki University of Technology in the 1980s. The name combines landscape architecture and the brainstorming of think tanks.

What is it suitable for?

The practice is suitable for providing a forum for interaction and exchange of information between students and teachers in small degree programmes. Instead of single courses, questions related to studying the entire field can be discussed.


Landscape think tanks are important for the identity of those who study landscape architecture because only representatives of this degree programme attend the event. The events are also important as a forum for students to bring up ideas and opinions related to studying. Students feel they are heard and get a response to their thoughts.

What is required?

The practice does not require extensive preparation. The date of the event must be synchronised with the studies so that everyone has a possibility to participate.

Further information

Professor Jyrki Sinkkilä, Aalto ARTS, [email protected]


The Tip of the Week series introduces different good practices that have been used to revise and develop our operation.  Good practices may be operating practices, operating models or working methods. What they have in common is that they make our work more meaningful, improve its quality and make it run more smoothly. Take advantage of the tips in your work!

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