Aalto WiT (World in Transition) LAB is an interdisciplinary cross-school research and education unit hosting collaborative initiatives across Aalto University. It is rooted in sustainable development of the built environment in vulnerable communities and fragile environments globally. WiTLAB serves as a platform for researchers and projects focusing on resilient human settlements, humanitarian architecture, community engagement and grass roots action. It furthers the Aalto University’s strategy on sustainability, transdisciplinary collaboration and Life-Wide-Learning.

Aalto WiTLAB provides a flexible and horizontal network for units and individuals within and outside Aalto University, with a variety of interests and professional experience on related topics. The international experience of the members creates a vast global network of experts, institutes, programs and universities. It is a forum for discussion and action for people within the academia, who are passionate about changing the world for the better.

Aalto WiTLAB coordinates and carries out basic and applied research, publication of topical literature and expert assignments on the above mentioned themes. It also supports master’s level and continuing education courses through real-life case studies in collaboration with partners outside academia.

Woman in Zanzibar 2016
Image: Helena Sandman


Aalto WiTLAB consists of a team of researchers and educators, constantly looking for new collaborations and transdisciplinary partnerships worldwide. Image: Lauri Nykopp

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Architects team picture Benin

WiTLAB alumni stories

Meet the professionals who have participated in WiTLAB's courses and collaborative projects through time! Here you find interviews where the alumni share their learning experiences and career journeys after graduating from Aalto University.

Image of Niina Rinne

Niina Rinne - WiTLAB collaborator

Niina is an alumna of the Creative Sustainability programme, currently working at UN-Habitat in Nairobi as a Programme Management Officer
Image of Milja Lindberg

Milja Lindberg - WiTLAB research alumna

Milja is a Finnish-Canadian architect and independent researcher from the early years of WiTLAB’s research group
Image of Maria Hedengren

Maria Hedengren - Cities in Transition alumna

Maria is an architect currently working as a creative director, marketing strategist and planner
Image of Emma Lappalainen

Emma Lappalainen - City in Crisis alumna

Emma is an architect and alumna of the ‘City in Crisis’ studio 2010, currently working as the CEO and lead consultant at Finngroup Consultants


Current news related to WiTLAB

WiT Talks
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WiT Talks - where theory meets practice, and dialogue meets impact

In a world where crises are becoming increasingly complex and interlinked, the need for transformative conversations and actionable solutions for global sustainability and resilience is paramount. In response to this pressing demand, WiT Talks emerges as a dynamic entity that transcends the boundaries of traditional discourse.

WiT Talks is a WiTLAB-led initiative at Aalto University that stands at the forefront of a paradigm shift. We recognise the urgency of uniting passionate academics and researchers, forward-thinking practitioners, NGOs, community activists, and visionary policymakers in an environment where silos are dismantled and collaboration reigns supreme. The talks are designed to be the nexus where the realms of theory and practice converge, birthing novel insights and actionable strategies that have the power to reshape the future. These discussions are global, inclusive, and cross-cutting, fostering an innovative blend of perspectives. Through WiT Talks events and activities, we foster collaborations, enabling participants to translate discussions into tangible, real-world actions.

Welcome to a realm where conversations are catalysts for action, and every voice, every idea, and every contribution matters.
WiT Programme panel
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Panel discussion 'Humanitarian approach in the changing world' by Aalto WiT Programme, RLabs Tanzania and Finn Church Aid

Join us for an engaging panel discussion where we will explore the evolving landscape of humanitarian efforts with the challenges and opportunities it presents. Our panelists will address key questions shaping the future of the field in an insightful and thought-provoking discussion, offering a glimpse into the future of humanitarian work and the collaborative strategies necessary for positive change.
Hopeful Globe podcast
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WiTLAB guesting on the Hopeful Globe Podcast

Aalto WiTLAB has guested on an episode of the Hopeful Globe Podcast by the University of Turku. The Hopeful Globe Podcast series is a collaboration between Institutes of Higher Education, sharing inspiring stories across the globe.
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WiTLAB Side Event at UIA Copenhagen

Aalto WiT Programme launch and workshop - Side event at UIA Copenhagen 2023

Our globe is a closed system, and in the end, we all share the same resources. The fact that these now are unequally distributed should be the concern of us all.

Saija Hollmén, Professor of Practice in Humanitarian Architecture at Aalto University


Events related to WiTLAB's interests

Aalto ARTS Student Show visual

Aalto ARTS Student Show 2024

The Aalto ARTS Student Show brings together a selection of student projects from all over the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Future Pack-Age visions

Sustainable packaging alternatives.
Fungi growing experiments part of Kudos by Elina Koivisto and Maiju Suomi.

Kudos – a library for material relations

Architecture as a collaboration between humans, clay and fungi.
Exhibition boxes Biochar Project

Flowing carbon

Different methods of carbon sequestration in urban green areas.

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E-mail: [email protected]

Visiting Address: we reside in Väre, Otaniementie 14, 3th floor

Mailing Address: WiT LAB PO Box 31000 FI-00076 AALTO FINLAND 

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