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Aalto University

Group X is a research group at the Department of Architecture of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University (Espoo-Helsinki, Finland). Group X consists of professors, researchers, lecturers and course tutors who are focused in user-centeredness design and spatial development from the point of view of active users and sustainability. It has developed programmatic ways to approach current development-related subjects in the field of design. Subjects are approached from an architect’s point of view, bringing architect’s way of operating to new fields of culture.

Main research lines of Group X are: 

a. The culture of sharing – Sustainable development: The culture of sharing is the key philosophy supporting the optimization of the use of premises and infill development. We are interested in the mechanisms and benefits of shared resources, shared technologies and shared spaces. The mechanisms for attaining the targets of sustainability are flexible and mixed use, temporal programming, life cycle thinking and the utilization of the Internet of things in this development. The culture of sharing results in a more social interaction and in a more effectively utilized infrastructure. Main topics are optimization of the use of premises, increase of the utilization rate, infill development, shared resources and mixed use and life cycle thinking.

b. Happy together – Communicative planning: We want to enhance the co-creation of value through user-centred design and co-design in architectural projects, starting from the very beginnings of the projects and call this approach service architecture. The actual outcomes of this methodology are new types of places for social interaction, networked facilities and services, as well as turning spaces of movement and arrival creatively into new types of urban networks and nodes. Main topics are user-centred design, co-design, value co-creation, service architecture, places for social interaction, property meeting points and shared resources, spaces of movement and arrival into active use.

c. Learning as a key to everything – Learning organizations and spaces: Opposing the normative assumption that architecture is about teaching the clients and user how to live, or teaching the architects how people want to live, we support the idea of learning. Architecture should be a place and an activity of collective construction of knowledge for both its creators and users, expanding our understanding of meaningful life and good relationships between the culture and nature. This paradigm shift produces spaces, which are adapted to learn and develop. We work on conceptual and parametric solutions, which support learning cityscapes and learning design and planning processes. The purpose of Group X is also to constructively question the premises and activities of other groups at the Department of Architecture at Aalto University, and play a key role in the interdisciplinary activities of the Department.