The designer of the Aalto Learning Hubs studied in the RYM Indoor Environment Program, Valeria Gryada is one of three candidates for the Scientist of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the seminar of The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT) on Oct. 13, 2014.
The evolution, processes and user-centered methodology of the Aalto Learning Hub facility services network and concept have been researched in the Future Learning Environment work package of the Indoor Environment Program. Eelis Rytkönen, a researcher at RYM, and Research Manager Suvi Nenonen have been Valeria Gryada’s research partners.
“The pioneering work started by Valeria in 2011 has provided much-needed tools for implementing rapid grassroots spatial alterations and more efficient use of spaces at universities. Her inspiring and open-minded involvement of users in the design, construction and use of spaces has produced pleasant and innovative learning environments for all students of Aalto University. The Hubs have been an unqualified success based on higher utilizations rates and feedback from students,” Rytkönen and Nenonen note.
At present, ten Hubs with a total area of about 4,000 sqm are in use. The number of new potential development targets is nine. Each realized space is a prototype whose use and functionality are monitored after project completion to learn lessons useful for later projects. Cooperation between RYM and Valeria Gryada as well as monitoring of the evolution of the Learning Hub network will continue as the project moves forward.