top of page

Architectural Democracy at the XR Conference Helsinki

The Metropolia University of Applied Sciences organized an international event on "Extending Design Realities" on the 28th May 2019 (10am - 3pm) about the possibilities of XR technologies in participatory urban planning. And they invited me as one of their keynote speakers on "Architectural Democracy".

The event consisted of 5 expert presentations and visiting the newly established Helsinki XR Center as well as the new Metropolia campus at Arabianranta, Helsinki.

From the 5 speakers, two, Jarmo and Stephan both stated that 3 billion new dwellers will move in to cities in the near future, and thus we need new buildings. How come? Let us think, 24% of the residential buildings are empty in China and China holds a quarter of the world's population! Plus, all buildings worldwide are empty at least half of the days, as people commute from work to home. What we would need is not more buildings, these are constructed because otherwise the economy would collapse, what we need is a rethink on HOW we live!

Extending Design Realities was a pre-event for an international seminar Cumulus conference 2019 in Rovaniemi ‘Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence’ organized by Cumulus, an international network of universities offering art, design and media education. The pre-event was organized by three actors: Augmented Urbans project, Finnish Design Academy project and the new Helsinki XR Center.

Photo by Eerika Minkkinen: Aibeo on stage 2019

Augmented Urbans is an EU-funded project that develops better participation in urban planning through XR technologies. Augmented Urbans is coordinated by Metropolia UAS, funded by Central Baltic Interreg program and involves four countries, five pilot cities and ten partners.

Interpreting complex urban planning strategies can be difficult, let alone far-reaching future scenarios. In Augmented Urbans, they believe that better visualization with rapidly evolving extended reality (XR; augmented, virtual and mixed reality) technologies can make it all easier and more understandable.

The speakers were:

'Extending participatory urban planning via XR' Gunita Kuļikovska Architect, VR entrepreneur, Opinion Leader CEO, Vividly 'Helsinki Smart Digital Twins' Jarmo Suomisto Project Manager, City of Helsinki Architect, M.Sc. (Civ. Eng.) 'Architectural Democracy' + a workshop Pedro Aibéo Architect and Civil Engineer, Vis. Ass. Professor & Researcher, founder, CEO 'Urban resilience and XR technologies' Stephan Barthel Associate Professor, University of Gävle 'Modeling the natural environment is the key to an all-around digital twin' Lauri Lemmenlehti CEO, Plehat Landscape Architect

Other articles:
bottom of page