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

Hopeful Globe podcast
Studies Published:

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.
Research & Art Published:

WiTLAB Side Event at UIA Copenhagen

Aalto WiT Programme launch and workshop - Side event at UIA Copenhagen 2023
Humanitarian architects at field work in Nepal, sitting on rugs and discussing with local people
Research & Art, Studies Published:

Aalto University is launching a World in Transition Programme for resilience of vulnerable communities

New diploma programme seeks solutions to the most pressing problems concerning the human settlements.
Locals in Accra
Studies Published:

Architecture students travel to Ghana to immerse themselves in the culture and environment

This past spring, students and professors from the Department of Architecture’s Humanitarian Architecture studio “Interplay of Cultures” traveled to Ghana to deepen their understanding of architectural practices in various cultural contexts.

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 University campus in Otaniemi
Conferences, Workshops

ARCH24 - The 6th International conference on Architecture, Research, Health and Care (external link)

The International ARCH24 Conference will be held at Aalto University, Espoo, in June 17th to 19th in 2024.

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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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