HOAS Laboratory, the collaborative design project of the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (HOAS) and Demos Helsinki think tank, has been part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program. HOAS Laboratory has developed e.g. the communal aspects of student housing.
One of HOAS Laboratory’s service design ideas was to improve the condition and comfort of student housing together with the students, or the customers. During the renovation of the apartment building on Junailijankuja in East Pasila, each floor received a distinct image as a result of the students’ design competition. The communal spirit of the building is enhanced by hosts appointed from among the students themselves.
The hosts are either international students themselves or have been on exchange abroad. They know what kind of support international students need in the everyday life of a multicultural building in a new country. The hosts live in the student community and help other residents settle in the building.
The hosts organized joint meals, events, and visits to workplaces in their community during the pilot term. Residents could also reserve common facilities from the hosts for their own events. More than 80 such events were organized in the building on Junailijankuja during the fall term of 2011, with more than 2 100 young participants in total.
In addition to the hosts, HOAS Laboratory’s pilot on Junailijankuja provided on-campus jobs for two students who participated in planning the design renovation project coordinated by students from Aalto University’s Creative Sustainability Program, and five students who carried out the design renovation in practice. So all in all, nine students came into contact with work life through the pilot.