Housing design 2, abstracts

NIINA NIEMINEN, SINI SAARIMAA, MARKUS LAINE, JYRKI TARPIO (Tampere University, Finland): Mapping residential environments and spaces from dwellers’ perspective
The need for more dweller-oriented approaches to the development of sustainable urban areas and housing is widely agreed upon. However, most of the housing development studies are expertly driven. They define the wants and needs of dwellers. In our in-process project, we take another approach: we study the residential environments and spaces from dwellers’ perspective. We seek a multidimensional understanding of housing aspirations through the process where we involve five dweller groups in two different ways. Firstly, we conduct focus group interviews regarding the participants' housing history in relation to their current housing preferences and thoughts of their future dwelling. Secondly, we conduct co-creation workshops, where we focus on how exemplary apartments should be redefined to better accommodate the different needs of the participants. In the presentation, we discuss how these methods can help to offer a new understanding of housing aspirations that complement the classic housing preference studies and contribute to sustainable urban development.
Keywords: housing aspirations, urban development, dweller-orientation

ANITA OLLÁR, MIKAELA BENGTSSON, PAULA FEMENÍAS (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden): The kitchen of the future through an academic lens: Architectural thesis projects’ knowledge contribution to academic research
Societal and lifestyle changes become more apparent through the evolvement of consumer and governmental demands for more sustainable homes. The kitchen is one part of homes where new demands emerge. While observing the amount of waste created during kitchen activities and renovations, it can be noted that there is a user-dissatisfaction with the kitchen function, and its lack of adaptability considering the furniture design. A shift towards less wasteful kitchens is essential to meet future users’ needs and the environmental requirements of governmental bodies.
The Circular Kitchen project (CIK) investigates how to design a circular economy-based kitchen furniture and business model, in collaboration with industry and with support from master students. Traditionally Swedish architect students are rather free to select a topic for their master’s theses (MT). In this case, an entrepreneurial approach (EA) was tested, and topics connected to CIK were proposed to students. The purpose was to connect research and teaching and facilitate the learning situation while knowledge for research was created.
The aim is to demonstrate the MT’ knowledge contribution to a currently running research (CIK) through showcasing their approach to the topic (future kitchens). The authors discuss how to utilise architectural MT produced through research-by-design and how to deal with limitation of time, resources and academic skills of MT while employing their results in academic research. The method is a reflexive description of the process in which questions about ethics, the value of produced knowledge, learning and scientific reliability are discussed.
Preliminary results show that the MT’ literature study, ideas and discussions greatly contribute to the research. Even if all results cannot be directly used, their approach, analysis and creative designs can be utilised. Furthermore, the EA gives value to students to tackle contemporarily relevant problems, assures the importance of their contribution and motivates their work.
Keywords: research, education, knowledge creation, kitchen, user demands

LAURA ARPIAINEN, IRA VERMA (Aalto University, Finland): New designs for hospice care in Finland
Lately there has been discussion about the quality of end of life care in Finland. Currently, there are only four hospices in Finland and most deaths take place in hospitals or care facilities. There has been little focus on the quality of the spaces in which palliative and end of life care is delivered.
The aim of this study was to review best practices in hospice care and design of spaces for end of life care, in particular how design of the built environment can support patient and family centered care and wellbeing.
Research literature, a trans-disciplinary seminar, site visits and interviews with stakeholders and clinical staff formed the background for the study. From this starting point, a design studio course was used as the research method. Architecture students were given the task of designing a hospice for 8–15 patients. The process enabled a broad discussion on the quality of spaces conducive to a good end of life experience.
Findings include that hospices need to be located in close proximity to where people live, and be well integrated to existing urban structures to enable frequent visits by friends and family. Private rooms are an integral requirement to preserve the dignity of the individual, as well as enable presence of family and friends during care and at the time of death. Sensory aspects of the physical environment that effect wellbeing include materials, use of natural light, connection to outdoors, use of color and soundscape. The users’ spiritual needs, and need for quiet are served by a spiritual room.
There is need to further develop palliative care, including the spaces for end of life care. There would be need for a larger study involving patients and relatives on the design of spaces for end of life care.
Keyword: hospice, end of life, wellbeing, design

NINNI WESTERHOLM (Aalto University, Finland): Greenhousing – Biophilic Housing Design According to the Natural Cycles in the Nordic Urban Context
This thesis researches how we could design sustainable urban housing in the Nordic climate that works according to the natural cycles. It begins with a brief presentation of why we should rethink the way we build from the environmental and psychological points of view. Thereafter, nature is presented as a primary role model for architects aiming to create biotecture – buildings co-operating with nature.
Numerous architects have been inspired by nature, one of whom was Swedish architect Bengt Warne. He implemented knowledge gained from studying natural flows into his designs and created buildings with integrated cyclic systems that efficiently use energy, water, and nutrition. This thesis presents and discusses Warne’s main work. Thereafter, relevant projects that help further develop Warne’s concept are presented.
From thorough research new design guidelines emerge that aim to create sustainable buildings where man is reconnected with nature. This thesis strives to change both the way we build and the way we live. Technical solutions are briefly presented, since the focus is not on engineering but on finding housing solutions that have a positive impact on our lifestyle. Based on presented research and theories, a conceptual and flexible design proposal of a multi-story housing complex – the Eco Block, is made. The purpose of this proposal is to show how the theory and the biophilic values could be put into practice. Thereafter, comes a discussion of how variations of the concept could be used to change the urban metabolism from being linear to being circulative, which would be a significant sustainable improvement.
This thesis contributes to the extremely current and crucial discussion of sustainable urban development, while also promoting individual well-being. Additionally, this thesis hopes to work as a spark leading to further research in multiple disciplines, which would help to realize projects such as the Eco Block.
Keywords: sustainability, natural cycles, nature house, Bengt Warne, biophilic design, biomimetic design, biotecture, circular economy