Research & Art

Key Research Area: Human-centred living environments

We are developing interdisciplinary research to enhance the planning, design, and testing of better living environments.
Kokoon modular living system is made of wood. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo
The Kokoon modular living system is made of wood. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

The goal of human-centered living environments is to better understand how individuals experience their physical environment and how art, spaces, buildings, and communities can enhance this experience.

The challenges of urbanization, efficient use of resources, changes in population structure, as well as the opportunities offered by digitalisation, business services and the experience of nature, are all included in this multi-dimensional research.

The results of this research provide useful knowledge for societal development.

The Aalto Networking Platform brings together our researchers and external parties for multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of human-centered living environments. With our recently opened Living+ Hub, we offer these actors a place to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate. In addition to events focusing on networking and collaboration, we organize educational lectures and seminars for students, Aalto staff and the public, and thus increase awareness of the topics, research and current challenges related to human-centered living environments.

Aalto Living+ Forum

The annual Living+ Forum is a public multi-disciplinary lecture series on themes related to human-centered living environments.

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Visiting lecturer Akira Minagawa

Upcoming events

Portrait of Zlatko Bodrožić
Lectures and seminars

Authoritarianism, Oligarchy, Localism or Democratization? A neo-Schumpeterian perspective on alternative responses to the climate crisis

Welcome to an open lecture by professor Zlatko Bodrožić. In this talk, Prof. Bodrožić, discusses four possible pathways defined by our collective choices as concerns organization models and public policy: authoritarianism, oligarchy, localism, and democratization.
Two people walking in the School of Business
Workshops

Indoor Air Quality Workshop

Concentrates on indoor air quality, specifically addressing moisture, microbes, and materials.

Latest news in this area

Young architects sitting on the outdoor staircase and smiling
Cooperation Published:

Ella Kaira and Matti Jänkälä to curate the Pavilion of Finland at the 2025 Biennale Architettura

The theme of the chosen exhibition concept by the architect duo is the preservation of modern architecture.
A visual AI-generated sketch for urban development in Battersea district in London
Cooperation, Research & Art, Studies Published:

Architecture students use AI to design social innovations for London

The project combined qualitative evolutionary design and visual generative artificial intelligence, for the first time.
Minitalo Varjon havainnekuva
Research & Art Published:

Tiny House Shadow: a small size home with big environmental benefits

Architect Matti Kuittinen's house project examines the emissions of small detached houses. "Tiny House Shadow" is a resource-efficient building concept that combines circular economy, minimalist design and sustainable development.
Lämpöpatteri
Research & Art Published:

Five things everyone should know about cooling and ventilation

How do we keep our houses cool when summers are getting hotter? Is it worth using a natural ventilation system? Is air-conditioning the same as cooling? Professor Risto Kosonen offers some tips for managing indoor air temperature in your home.

Flagships and Centres of Excellence

Finest Bay Area Tunnel Project, by Fira

FinEst Twins – Smart City Centre of Excellence (external link)

Focusing on sustainable smart city development, FinEst Twins is coordinated by TalTech, Aalto University, Forum Virium and Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Kaupunkiakatemia - Urban Academy

Urban Academy (external link)

Urban Academy (Kaupunkiakatemia) is a platform and network that brings together multidisciplinary research, teaching and societal impact in the field of urban studies. It is a partnership of five organizations: University of Helsinki, Aalto University, City of Helsinki, City of Espoo and City of Vantaa.

Infrastructure

Annamari Tolonen, Aalto yliopisto, 2018.

Aalto Living+ Hub

The Living+ Hub is an experimental space for research, development and innovations activities connecting researchers, students, companies and cities.

Locations

Aalto Built Environment Laboratory

Aalto Built Envinronment Laboratory (ABE) is a new collaborative research and learning initiative of Aalto University, School of Engineering.

MAGICS-infrastruktuuri mahdollistaa virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntämisen muun muassa taiteellisissa esityksissä. Kuva: Aalto Studios.

MAGICS – Media – Arts – Games – Interaction – Computing – Science (external link)

MAGICS is an infrastructure network to support research into motion recording, and virtual environments. It is a joint effort of Aalto University, Tampere University and the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Featured research bodies

group x logo

Group X (external link)

A focus group at the department of architecture at Aalto University

Helsinki city, location project

Smartland consortium (external link)

The consortium helps to identify and develop effective and sustainable land-use policies. The consortium is led by Aalto, Universities of Helsinki and Turku and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Key research area contact

 Dr. Aija Staffans

Dr. Aija Staffans

Manager, Human-centred living environments, Key Research Area, Aalto Networking Platform
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