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The 14th International Alvar Aalto Symposium focused on the current challenges and opportunities for future housing design and construction in urban areas.

The topic emerged from a fact that urban housing and living are in a state of paradigmatic flux. For example, reducing energy consumption, increasing the density of community structures, and renovating the suburbs, as well as changes in the population demographic, all influence present housing design. This means that existing city planning solutions, urban structures, housing typologies, living concepts, business models and administrative processes need to be renewed.

Program consisted of general lectures which were intended to offer a comprehensive understanding of the theme. In addition, there were two sets of thematic lectures and one set of parallel sessions with a panel discussion. These lectures  focused on four specific viewpoints: Cultural variables, Sharing, Adaptability and Emerging typologies.

Cultural variables

What are the major cultural and intercultural changes in relation to housing? What kind of needs and desires are currently emerging? How can various cultural preferences be taken into account in an inclusive way with regards to the design process and outcomes?


What kind of new types of shared and common spaces are emerging in housing? What uses can they accommodate? What kind of architectural concepts should be developed to enable new ways of sharing and using? What novel experimental practices are being developed by and with dwellers and other actors, and how can they help respond to the changing needs of dwellers in future cites.


Which flexible space concepts and various scales of spatial solutions are relevant in contemporary urban housing? What kinds of building processes and ownership arrangements do these concepts and solutions require? What kind of spatial thinking produces adaptable and transformable architecture?

Emerging typologies

What kinds of urban design solutions and housing typologies are needed for densifying cites? Can typologically mixed and functionally hybrid concepts offer interesting options for future housing. What does new transportation systems or digitalisation mean to the development of city structures, service networks and housing solutions?


Thursday 30 August 2018

10:30–11:00 Seminar registration
11:00–11:30 Opening of the Alvar Aalto Symposium, Mayor of the City of Jyväskylä Timo Koivisto, Chair of the Symposium Markku Hedman
11:30–12:15 Anders Tyrrestrup: The Social Impact of Architecture, moderator Markku Hedman
12:15–13:00 Sofie Pelsmakers: Creating Truly Sustainable Future Urban Housing: A New Paradigm for Architectural Practice and Teaching, moderator Markku Hedman

13:00–14:15 Lunch break (lunch not included in the symposium ticket)

14:15–15:45 Thematic session 1: SHARING, moderator Minna Lukander
14:15–14:45 Jaakko Blomberg: A new participatory urban culture
14:45–15:15 Anne Kaestle: Who shares, has more
15:15–15:45 Stephen Bates: Collective Domestic–Reflections on Collective Living and the Big House of Many Rooms

15:45–16:15 Coffee break

16:15–17:00 Selina Anttinen: Density, Diversity and Context – Studies in Urban Housing, moderator Minna Lukander
17:00–18:00 Award ceremony of the architectural design competition Asuntoreformi 2018
18:00–18:15 Closing of the day 1, Markku Hedman

19:30–23:00 Evening party of the seminar (venue: Alvar Aalto Museum)


Friday 31 August 2018

09:00–09:15 Introduction to the program, Markku Hedman
09:15–10:00 Ola Nylander: Housing Architecture Quality, moderator Juha Kostiainen
10:00–10:45 Verena Von Beckerath: From Elements of Domesticity to Forms of Commoning, moderator Juha Kostiainen

10:45–11:15 Coffee break

11:15–12:45 Thematic session 2: EMERGING TYPOLOGIES, moderator Juha Kostiainen
11:15–11:45 Antti Lehto: Novel types of housing – examples of the application of integrated design
11:45–12:15 Peter Pichler: Architecture beyond physical perception
12:15–12:45 Jussi Murole: An Urban Dream

12:45–14:00 Lunch break (lunch not included in the symposium ticket)

14:00–15:15 Parallel session 1: ADAPTABILITY, moderator Ari Hynynen
14:00–14:15 Elli Mosayebi: The Specific in the Generic – A Subversive Strategy? Or: How do we design housing?
14:15–14:30 Sini Saarimaa: Space for personalisation: exploring urban apartments’ potential
14:30–14:45 Jyrki Tarpio: A Cookbook for Agile Housing
14:45–15:15 Panel discussion

14:00–15:15 Parallel session 2: CULTURAL VARIABLES, moderator Hanna Harris
14:00–14:15 Michael Asgaard Andersen: A Circular Economy in Contemporary Danish Housing
14:15–14:30 Elina Alatalo: Self-Organized Shared Work Spaces
14:30–14:45 Katja Maununaho: Diversity Scales for Integrated Housing in the Multicultural City
14:45–15:15 Panel discussion

15:15–15:45 Coffee break

15:45–16:30 Jeremy Till: Cultures of Flexible Housing, moderator Markku Hedman
16:30–17:15 Mikkel Frost: Housing Is Home Building, moderator Markku Hedman
17:15–17:30 Closing words, Markku Hedman

The organiser reserves the right to alter the programme.


(not included in the Symposium registration)


18:00–20:00 Alvar Aalto Society presents an open and free of charge lecture: THE RENOVATION AND EXTENSION OF ALVAR AALTO BUILDINGS – THE CASE PRESENTATION OF KUNSTEN MUSEUM OF MODERN ART AALBORG, DENMARK by Architect Lene Hammer
Venue: Main Building of the University of Jyväskylä, Seminaarinkatu 15, Jyväskylä, Finland.

FRIDAY 31 August 2018

19:00–22:00  Evening cruise from Jyväskylä to the near waters of the Lake Päijänne.
Departure: Jyväskylä harbour, Satamakatu 8, Jyväskylä, Finland.
Price 65€, including the cruise and a buffet dinner.

Saturday 1 September 2018

9:00–12:00  Architectural excursion around Jyväskylä area.
Departure: Alvar Aalto Museum, Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä, Finland.
Price 15€, including the bus transportation and guiding during the tour.