The University of Helsinki launched its participation in the WDC2012 year with a comprehensive theme “Designing society through thinking”. We will communicate the actions of the university that contribute to the cultural, economic and social development of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the living environment in general.
For the University of Helsinki the WDC2012 year is about social relevance, how the university can design society through its operations. The University of Helsinki expands the concept of design to encompass social innovations – design is seen not just in its traditional form, but as a human-oriented way of solving challenges through learning and research.
Click through the presentation to see a brief overview of what the different projects have accomplished during the year:
The environmental projects will create opportunities for improved quality of life and a better future. The projects seek solutions to environmental problems and develop ecosystem services for the needs of urban residents. The University of Helsinki aims to highlight top scientific research on global environmental problems and tries to find innovative solutions to them. Researcher Susanna Lehvävirta elevates the potential of green roofs in urban metropolises:
“Green roofs are an excellent means of reducing the adverse environmental effects of urbanisation and problems caused by climate change: the urban heat island effect, the pollution of air and water, flood pulses and noise.”
- Global environmental change – University of Helsinki designing a sustainable future »»
- Living Canvas »»
- Fifth Dimension – innovative solutions and ecosystem services to benefit our citie »»
The Finnish educational system and teacher training at the University of Helsinki create a strong foundation for Finland’s success in PISA evaluations and they have become an increasingly export product. Projects in the Department of Teacher Education bring together strong scientific expertise to develop learning contents, physical spaces and services and networks with the help of new technology.
“Finnish teacher training and education can be seen as a new form of design, which can be applied all over the world”, says Professor Kirsi Tirri, Director of one of the projects.
- Design Learning Conference »»
- ELE – New learning environments in teacher education »»
- This is how Finnish teachers learn to teach »»
A student-centred approach and participation are key terms for the set of projects aimed at bolstering the national and international competitive strength of the Helsinki metropolitan area as an attractive place to live, study and work.
The Student Capital brings together the public, private and third sectors, acknowledging the real needs of the different actors. The Student Capital aims to satisfy the needs at every stage of a learner’s life, from the beginning of university studies to lifelong learning, turning learners into proud alumni who act as global ambassadors for not just the university but Helsinki as a whole.
The design of learning environments provides us with new types of ‘oases’ for learning that suit the needs of widely different learners. Interactive learning environments and service models that encourage participation are developed in a user-orientated manner, making use of space and technology in a new way.
The most high-profile project of the University of Helsinki’s WDC2012 year influences the cityscape and introduces new services. The new Kaisa building will be the largest university library in Finland, with a floor area of 15,500 m2 and nearly 30 km of shelving filled with scientific literature. A new service concept and involvement of users enable the reform of traditional library services, the probing and implementation of new technologies and work processes as well as the long-term development of library services also in the future.