Concept for the new building

We have gathered here what the users of the space want the future School of Business building to represent. We welcome you to explore and immerse yourself in the development of the experience.

“The spaces should encourage talking and encounters. There is no substitute for real interaction.”
-Faculty member


The new School of Business building will be an open and embedded environment where encounters are gently encouraged to happen.

Increased interaction and the formation of new teams, both within the business school and with other Aalto schools, researchers and external stakeholders, will open up new possibilities for innovation and increase social capital. In contrast to the many collaborative spaces, quiet focus areas for individual work and rest will balance and support working and studying.

Spaces must be adaptable and planned to be be ready for change as the needs of stakeholders change over time. New inventions happen at the intersections of the four following focus areas of the concept.


Open and embedded

With its central location, Aalto BIZ welcomes all. As digitalization transforms the way we work and study, face-to-face interactions will acquire new meaning and form. As societal embeddedness grows, the surrounding society, alumni and partner networks will play an even more important role in the on-campus experience. Alumni and other stakeholders are invited to be part of the new campus through the sharing of stories, heritage and information.

“Collaboration will be even lighter, faster, more open and transparent, and well more networked.”

”Making an impact on society will be a crucial part of doing business in the future.”

Examples of ideas that bring the focus area to life: Donors’ monument The Clock

Immersive and focused working

Our world has never been more connected, making us appreciate space to focus or recharge. A crucial part of collaborative working and studying is focused work. As a contrast to interaction and co-working, there are also spaces at the business campus that are quiet and allow users to focus either alone or in groups. Digital tools will support networking and help people when they want to stay connected, whether they are together or alone.

“I need more personal space that can proclaim: ‘don’t bother me!’ I don’t like the long tables for individual work… because, when everybody sits around, I feel like I’m in a crowd.”

Examples of ideas that bring the focus area to life: Summer Lounge The best wine bar in Otaniemi

Inventions happen in teams

The new building will function as a catalyst for encounters and networks. Social capital and peers are one of the key takeaways for students. The school facilitates teamwork and the understanding of different disciplines and people, both within the business school and with other Aalto schools. New inventions occur as these multidisciplinary teams form. After all, learning happens in a social context. 1+1+1=4

“For me, the most important tools I got from the school were the networks of peers. That is absolutely the most important thing.”

Examples of ideas that bring the focus area to life: Team Rooms Sleep ‘n’ Play BIZ Kitchen works

Academic meets business

The School of Business is a leading and attractive research institution, yet business-minded. It has a unique approach to teaching that uses real-life cases to narrow the gap between studying and business life and enables students to prototype their possible career paths. The school clearly, proudly and visibly communicates these activities and achievements to a wider audience in research, education and business. Open business data and open research are bound together. Welcome to the empirical wonderland!

“We (Aalto BIZ) are practical. We are multidisciplinary, we have great contacts to the corporate world, education is more work-oriented and research is tied to practice.”

Examples of ideas that bring the focus area to life: Encountering pop-ups Ceremony stories

Concept development

February 2017
Insight & foresight

Insight work focused on understanding the future factors shaping working and learning environments, which affect the development of the new business campus. Motive-based user-profiles and stakeholder interviews were used as a means to create an understanding of the future users of the building.

March 2017
Ideation & user testing

Users, from high-school students to alumni and faculty members, took part in creating innovative concepts and ideas through facilitated workshops. The developed and visualized solutions were then tested with a wide audience in both Töölö and Otaniemi Campuses.

April - May 2017
Development & iteration

Concept development culminated in the formulation of the core vision, thematic areas and iterated, visualized concepts. The concept work was documented in a mini exhibition that toured the campuses of the business school. The developed concept was revised based on the feedback gained in the exhibition.

Insight & foresight
stakeholder interviews
Aalto BIZ students
Campuses: Otaniemi & Töölö
high-school students
Ideation & user testing
Concept Lab -workshops
users in the ideation workshops
developed ideas & 50+ users
iterated ideas & 30+ users
Development & iteration
stakeholders took part in the exhibition
exhibition presentations on different campuses
illustrated concept ideas

Developed concept ideas

During the concept design process over 80 ideas were created together with the future users of the space in response to the identified trends. Some examples of ideas:

BIZ Campus Shed
Academic Tesla Lift
Hologram Dean
Master’s thesis open mic session
Start-up wall of fame
Ceremony Concepts
Old is Gold
Zoning encounters
Professors’ lounge
Configurable tangible working space
Tinder for Researchers
Conference godfather

Load 10 visualized concept cards

Load complete list of other ideas also formed during the co-design process