Lecture at Human City Design Conference, Seoul: School as a Service

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited academic talk


School as a Service (SaaS), a social innovation, started its operation in 2016 and now includes three new municipal upper secondary schools and an elementary school in Otaniemi area, Espoo, Finland. The practice is based on shared spaces and activities between the schools and Aalto University on the university campus. A school becomes a service, not only a physical place.
Various locations at the premises of the university are shared with schools such as physics and chemistry laboratories, learning centre and sports and art facilities. The schoolchildren have become active members of the city and the society. Reciprocally, the university campus have become more diverse and lively and also some of the study courses of the university are open to school pupils and the schools let the university personnel use their advanced learning technologies and provide pedagogical training. SaaS pursues a service dominant logic, bringing new contents to learning, transforming school towards a platform for social learning, developing new spatial practices supporting motivated learning, pursuing learning everywhere and the joy of learning. New design includes the areal school system, renovations of existing buildings for the schools’ home bases, landscaping and programming of university premises for shared use with the schools. In addition, the first SaaS school, Haukilahti upper secondary school, was also an exercise in the design of impermanent uses.

Characteristics of SaaS:
• Rapid implementation
• Flexible resource network
• Lower environmental effect
• Lower investment cost
• Increases areal prosperity
• Service centered

The project is a collaboration between the Department of Architecture at Aalto University, Aalto University Campus and Real Estate and The City of Espoo, and has been supported by the Finnish MInistry of Education and European Commission Creative Europe Programme. The project started with a collaboration between Aalto’s architecture and interior design students with the students of The Royal College of Art, London.
Period26 Sept 2019
Held atHuman City Design Award, Korea, Republic of
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • design
  • architecture
  • social sustainability
  • sustainability