Aalto Thesis

Project Hoas - Brand Identities to Houses with Communal Living Units

The Aalto Thesis project for Hoas about brand identities to houses with communal living units was executed during spring-summer 2019. The student team of 2 solved the challenge of decreased interest in communal living among students. Read more below!
Two women in a Hoas shared flat's kitchen drinking coffee.
Communal living in Hoas' shared flat's kitchen. / photo: Hoas

The partner

Hoas, or Helsingin seudun opiskelija-asuntosäätiö (The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region) is the largest student housing provider of the Helsinki area. Hoas is well-known for all students in the region, since they provide affordable housing for nearly 19,000 students. Founded in 1969, this Finnish non-profit organisation consists of nearly 70 full-time employees with a revenue of 70 million euros.

The challenge

Hoas’ challenge targets the decrease of interest in shared flats and communal living. The focus of Hoas's new construction projects is in studio flats, although most of Hoas housing stock consists of shared flats. Hoas is planning to create unique brand identities for some of their houses with communal living units to increase demand for shared flats. 

The main focus of this project was:

  • How communal living affects a student’s identity?

  • How residents of Hoas experience the surroundings of their home?

We will include the results to our newly started strategic reformation.

Saara Saksanen, Communications Manager, Hoas

The student team

For this project, Aalto Thesis student team consisted of two master’s students:

Tiia Penttinen

Marketing | School of Business

  • Student housing and students' identity construction. Why communal living is not a part of student’s extended self?

Read Tiia's Master's thesis from Aaltodoc

Elina Koutonen 

Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering | School of Engineering 

  • Student residents' perceptions of their neighbourhood - an evaluation of perceived residential environmental quality

Read Elina's Master's thesis from Aaltodoc

The time frame of this project was January 2019 – August 2019.

The most valuable lesson I learned in Aalto Thesis was that communication is a key thing in this kind of project.

Tiia Penttinen, Marketing student

Aalto Thesis is a newly launched model for an integrated project-based and work-life oriented Master’s thesis, executed as a part of a multidisciplinary student team. In the programme, a group of 2-4 students from different Aalto Schools is formed to jointly solve a multidimensional challenge given by a real work-life partner. Each student writes an individual thesis from the perspective of their own field, guided by their supervisor, but the topics of all the students are connected through a common challenge.

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