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Understanding connections: Climate Change, Health and Architecture

What does climate change and architecture have in common? We dig deeper into the course topics with course faculty Professor of Practice Laura Arpiainen and Adjunct Professor Matti Kuittinen. In this online course, students will learn how to design and build for a better future and contribute to positive change.
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Professor of Practice Laura Arpiainen, Health and Wellbeing Architecture and Adjunct Professor Matti Kuittinen, Resource-efficient Construction and Environmental Impacts and Senior Advisor at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland are the responsible teachers for the intensive online course Climate Change, Health and Architecture. The course is a future-oriented and evidence-based introduction to climate change and its relationship to human activities, architecture and health.

During the course, students will immerse themselves in understanding climate change and its causes and planetary boundaries. Realising the impacts of climate change on the built environment and human health is a key learning objective. The course provides students with the opportunity to explore and evaluate different future scenarios related to climate change, health and architecture. Overall, the course teaches how to design and build for a better future and contribute to positive change.

As climate change is an underlying driver behind many threats to physical and mental health, in what ways can architecture mitigate these effects?

Architecture and the construction sector are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. The way in which we build, work, maintain and live in our buildings can have a very big impact globally. Our physical and built environment also affects our health both directly and indirectly, and this course will touch on elements of urban and environmental health as well as public health in general.

How does climate change impact how we look at construction and architecture today?

It depends on where you are. We know that climate change awareness and acceptance varies quite a bit around the world, and some of the worst culprits have not been the most active in tackling it. We all need to take a real hard look at how we have been doing things, and understand that change is important – and positive!

What does the future look like for climate-conscious and sustainable design?

It looks great. I am extremely confident that this is a true growth area where smart graduates will be snapped up into the global marketplace in a blink of an eye.

I am confident that this is a true growth area where smart graduates will be snapped up into the global marketplace in a blink of an eye

Professor Laura Arpiainen, responsible teacher for the course Climate Change, Health and Architecture at

What is your advice for students who want to take the first step towards identifying the effects of climate change in their communities?

Come take this course! You will learn a lot, and make like-minded friends to boot.

How will students be able to use their learnings from this course in practice in their careers and studies?

Can I turn this around and say how could they not? All building going forward will need to be climate smart. Understanding how buildings and climate change together are drivers in public and personal health provides very unique insights for students and professionals alike.

What is the structure and the format of the course?

We will have ten long and full days with you - it is a real ‘intensive’. The days are paced with presentations, breakout groups, and work sessions. There will be lots of content information in the first week and towards the second week you will start working on your own Climate Change, Health and Architecture project. The pre-course assignment will be an important tool for you to orient your work coming into this intensive, so please allow good time for getting it done thoroughly.

For whom would you recommend the course Climate Change, Health and Architecture?

This course is open to students, researchers and professionals of any discipline who have at least a completed bachelor’s degree and a strong interest in climate change. We expect a smart, active and progressive multi-disciplinary international crowd of architects, planners, engineers, artists, activists, doctors, public servants, policy developers… you name it!

Climate Change, Health and Architecture - Intensive online course 9-20 August 2021

Apply now!

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Interested in hearing more about this course and Aalto University Summer School? Read more and apply no later than 30 June 2021!

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Climate Change, Health and Architecture

Future-oriented introduction to climate change and its relationship to human activities, built environment and health. The course is open to architects, designers, artists, planners, health professionals, policy developers, activists and optimistic future-makers!

Aalto University Summer School
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Aalto University Summer School

Aalto University Summer School offers high quality academic summer courses and programs at Aalto University.

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