Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the completion of the course, the student is able to understand the realities of life and the conditions of professional work in various cultural contexts outside Europe.

During the course, the students will:

-Get acquainted with new contexts and cultures.

-Develop skills in adapting to a new professional situation.

-Develop the understanding of causes that have led to a specific context.

-Develop their value system and sense of responsibility in terms of cultural and environmental sustainability

Credits: 12

Schedule: 14.01.2021 - 27.05.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Saija Hollmen, Pirjo Sanaksenaho

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Saija Hollmen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The reality of planning and architectural design outside Europe, with cultural
    understanding as the point of departure. The course highlights the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development, using participatory and interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving.

    The studio includes a two-week obligatory field trip, during which the projects are outlined and material for the projects is gathered.

    The field trip is organized in collaboration with local actors such as city and city planning officials, staff and students of local universities and schools of architecture, different NGOs. The course has guest critics from different disciplines enlightening the problem solving from different points of view.

    The course is intended for students from Aalto Arts.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    1. preparatory tasks; 2. field work; 3. analysis task; 4. design task

    Course assessment criteria will vary according to the design theme and case study. In general course work will be assessed according to the following, by no means exhaustive, list:

    -Understanding the project goals and local circumstances
    -Ability to define the scope of the project
    -Schedule management
    -Quality of produced material
    -Ability to work as a team/ independently
    -Attitude towards new challenges and different approaches
    -Sense of responsibility with the work
    -Writing and presentation skills
    -Activeness (during field work and at home)

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    12 ECTS (About 27 working hours = 1 ECTS)

    - Lectures and theory 12h
    - Tutoring 40h
    - Workshop, seminars and reviews 12h
    - Field trip (on site work) 80h
    - Independent work 180h

    Total workload 324h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    List of relevant links will be collected on the course site in MyCourses.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    ARk-E2007, ARK-E5504

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    • Before participating in studio courses student need to have finished their bachelor studies and applied for the bachelor's degree.
    • Yhd-12.3081 State of the World and Development (2cr) or equivalent knowledge base on related degree courses e.g. urban sociology, anthropology, economics, law, process management.
    • ARK-E5503, Cities in Transition - Research & Theory (5cr) or WAT-E2060 Sustainable Built Environment (5 cr).

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    13 Climate Action