Ever-changing Space. Spatial Design Guidelines for Aalto University Learning Center

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Master's Degree Programme in Spatial Design
Tilasuunnittelun maisteriohjelma
This thesis introduces spatial design guidelines for Aalto University Learning Center that could also be used as a platform for upgrading the existing facilities of the University. The work was driven by a vision of an ideal learning environment – a space that always meets the needs of its occupants and embraces constant transformation as an essential part of its nature. The concept of an “Ever-changing Space” was developed through observation, experimentation, and reflection. First, the background of a Learning Center initiative was revised to define the scope of the project. Second, change, openness, community and human senses were brought into focus and studied through the prism of architecture. Third, October through December 2011 the concept was prototyped at Aalto University Library, Töölö, as Aalto Hub Töölö project. Fourth, all acquired data was re-evaluated to define spatial design guidelines for Aalto University Learning Center. “Ever-changing Space” encourages pro-active user participation that ensures continuous natural development of the space and fosters the sense of community and ownership. It recommends providing tools for the occupants to quickly and independently modify the space as their needs change. Involving all senses is suggested as a technique to achieve fuller engagement of the people in the space. The project found a lot of supporters already during the prototyping phase. The statistics of Aalto University Library, Töölö, has shown increase in number of visitors by 12.2% in October, by 16.6% November and 14.8% in December 2011 compared to the same period previous year. As this thesis was being written, plans were made to launch a similar space in Aalto University Otaniemi campus.
Kauppila, Toni
spatial design, learning environment, learning center, Aalto University
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