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.


Sustainable Design Principles provides a theoretical framework into the systemic interdependencies between the built and the natural environment with focus on the multitude interactions between urbanization, climate and biodiversity. Based on a systemic framework the course focuses on three interdependent areas of ongoing research at the department and their impact on future architectural practice:

  • Resource Cycle: Rethinking of use and reuse of materials and energy in construction and its tectonic impact
  • Cycles of Exchange: Material and immaterial flows on various scales of the built environment and their impacts on architectural and territorial organizations
  • Aesthetic Cycles: Emergence of a new environmental consciousness and its impact on design thinking and design methods


Credits: 6

Schedule: 07.09.2022 - 30.11.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Matti Kuittinen, Toni Kotnik, Elisa Lähde

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course consists of lectures and a number of small assignments that are used for reflecting the lectures topics into various scales and aspects of architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture. The students are also introduced to recent research findings as well as examples from architecture or other relevant fields of arts, design, and technology.

    The course a is linked to the hands-on course ARK-E4018 Sustainability Tools for the Built Environment and complements the topical overview provided by the bachelor-level course ARK-C3000 Introduction to Sustainable Design.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Assessment is based on the evaluation of three exercises. The overall grading follows the scheme defined by Aalto University: 

       5: outstanding (exceeds expectations)
       4: very good (fulfils all expectations to full extent)
       3: good (fulfills all expectations with minor shortcomings)
       2: satisfying (major shortcomings in some areas)
       1: acceptable (major shortcomings in almost all areas but meets minimum level)
       0: not acceptable (major shortcomings in almost all areas)

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The total workload includes 24h of contact teaching, 60h of independent work and 24h of reflection time. For more detailed information on methods see the syllabus.


Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    10 Reduced Inequality

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action

    15 Life on Land


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I - II
    2023-2024 Autumn I - II

    Enrollment :

    Registration for courses: Sisu. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture,