Make the change! It’s once in a life-time experience with an impact! Working with local communities or industries in Africa, Asia and Latin America student teams are contributing to various development challenges. Working together in the field, creating lifelong networks and promoting sustainable development goals locally and globally.
SGT Studio is a co-learning studio course for Master’s and Doctoral students at the Aalto University. During the course students form multidisciplinary teams to carry out projects linked to global development challenges. Assignments are implemented with partners from academia, industries, governmental and civil society organizations and communities in developing and transition countries.
- implementing challenge based project (project design, field work, reporting, prototyping, communication)
- understanding the role of sustainability and technology in development
- integrating diverse skills (technology, science, design, architecture & business
- interdisciplinary and multicultural team work
- human-centered design and design thinking
- field work, expert meetings, workshop & mentoring
- students design a solution based on the needs of the case partner
- short-term outputs can take many forms (manual, technical report, evaluation, game, mobile app, idea…)
- long-term collaborations can lead to project partnerships or product implementation
SGT STUDIO PROJECTS 2007-2021
2021 Projects: Mexico, Tanzania and Bhutan
Action Lab Mexico, El 20: Co-creating strategies to strengthen the autonomy of an indigenous community in Campeche, Mexico in collaboration with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Universidad Modelo and Design Your Action (DYA)
UNHCR Tanzania, Project Zani: Creating suggestions for hygiene promotion methods and activities addressing behavior change in Tanzanian refugee camps in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Bhutan, Project Mapit, PBL South Asia: Raising awareness on landslide susceptibility in Dewathang Gewog, Samdrup Jongkhar of Bhutan with Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Royal University of Bhutan
2020 Projects: Mexico, Bhutan, Kenya and Uganda
Action Lab Mexico, El 20: Co-creating future scenarios for cooking and dining in an indigenous community in Campeche, Mexico with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Universidad Modelo and Design Your Action (DYA)
Studio SaJo, PBL South Asia: Supporting the development of sustainable waste management in Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan with Royal University of Bhutan
SUWAMA Project, Kenya: Supporting selected water utilities in assessing their revenue collection potential and improving their financial sustainability with Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF)
Project Amaka, Uganda, PBL East Africa: Envisioning a thriving and self reliant community of Katanga in terms of water needs with Makerere University, the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) and Aalto Global Impact (AGI)
2019 Projects: Mexico, Nepal, Kenya and Uganda
Aalto LAB Mexico, El20: Mapping the village of EL 20 to promote community tourism. Collaboration with Design Your Action (DYA), Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Nepal, Nepali, PBL South Asia: Building disaster resilience through communal synergies. Collaboration with Asian Institute of Technology and Management AITM, Kathmandu, Nepal and Aalto Global Impact, PBL South Asia.
Kenya, SUWAMA: Finding self-sustaining and efficient ways to manage water resources. Collaboration with Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF).
Uganda, Aha-MAK, PBL East AFrica: Promoting creative co-working and innovation in Makerere University. Collaboration with Makerere University and Aalto Global Impact, PBL East Africa.
2018 Projects: Mexico (El20 & Uxuxubí), Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya & Uganda
Aalto LAB Mexico, Uxuxubí: Building a model for community-led ecotourism. First Phase. Collaboration with local university (Tecnológico de Cancún) and local community. Uxuxubí, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Aalto LAB Mexico, El20 Cuxta-ha: Living water / Artesanía para el Bienestar & Community tourism / Household material footprint in El 20 de Noviembre, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico. Collaboration with local universities (UNAM, TEC de Monterray Mexico City Campus), local NGO (Design Your Action) and local community of El20 de Noviembre.
Nepal, Aalto WiT (World in Transition) LAB: Post-disaster sustainable reconstruction in Nepal. Collaboration with Asian Institute of Technology and Management AITM.
Tanzania, U R IN Tanzanitation: Sustainable sanitation in urban informal settlements in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Collaboration with Urbantransitioners and CCI.
Kenya, WatBus: Improving water services in poor and underserved rural communities in Kenya. Collaboration with Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF), Aalto New Global, Aalto ENG Water&Development research group.
Uganda, Up-plastic, PBL East Africa: Working towards a better livelihood in peri-urban communities in Kampala, Uganda. Recycling plastic and steel wastes to produce low cost sustainable building units. Collaboration with several Aalto programmes, Aalto Global Impact, Makerere University, University of Nairobi & University of Dar es Salaam.
2017 Projects: Tanzania, Mexico (El20, Uxuxub & San Pancho) & Greece
Tanzania, Upward Spiral – Tanzitation Squad: Contributing to improve sanitation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Collaboration with local NGO (CCI), local urban informal communities in Dar es Salaam.
Aalto LAB Mexico: Three sub-projects in El20: Cuxta-ha – Living water, manual for water quality testing / Artesanía para el Bienestar & Community tourism / Household material footprint in El 20 de Noviembre, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico. Collaboration with local universities (UNAM, TEC de Monterray Mexico City Campus), local NGO (Design Your Action) and local community of El20 de Noviembre.
Aalto LAB Mexico, Philein Project in Uxuxubí: Building a model for community-led ecotourism. First Phase. Collaboration with local university (Tecnológico de Cancún) and local community. Uxuxubí, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Aalto LAB Mexico, Philein Project in San Pancho: Supporting local community to address development issues caused by growing tourism. First phase. Collaboration with local NGO (Design Your Action) and local university (TEC de Monterray Guadalajara Campus). San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico.
LIFT Athens: Creating a positive impact in the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in Greece. Collaboration with Finn Church Aid.
2016 Projects: Mexico, Uganda & Greece
Aalto LAB Mexico, Cuxta-ha – Living water: Improving understanding of the water systems in El 20. El 20 de Noviembre, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico. Collaboration with local universities (UNAM, TEC de Monterray Mexico City Campus, Tec de Calakmul & CEDIM) and local community of El20 de Noviembre.
Uganda, UniWASH: Concept proposal for emptying school latrines and reusing the sludge as a fertilizer in a financially sustainable way and create proposal for an implementation plan. Collaboration with UNICEF, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Makerere University Uganda. *) Joint project with IDBM Industry project.
Video: watch video
Greece, LIFT Lesvos: Responding to the humanitarian and the environmental crisis on Lesvos, Greece.
2015 Projects: Nepal, Tanzania, Mexico & the Philippines
Nepal, MIS (Management Information System) to the Rescue: Tackling rural water management problems in Nepal. Collaboration with Aalto Water & Development Research Group (WDRG).
Tanzania, Nanomaji: Reinventing water purification in Tanzania. Collaboration with Aalto New Global Research Group & Ahlström. *) first joint project with IDBM industry project. Lead to start-up. Awarded.
Aalto LAB Mexico. Cuxta-ha – Living water: Finding solutions to water and sanitation challenges. Water quality testing in El20. El 20 de Noviembre, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico. Collaboration with local universities (UNAM, Tec de Monterray Mexico City campus) and local community of El20 de Noviembre.
The Philippines, Bohol in Motion: Post disaster development. *) Joint project in the Philippines with Cities in Transition course.
2014 Projects: Lebanon, South Africa, Mozambique & Tanzania
Lebanon, Al-Amal Institute for Disabled: Rock Village, water reuse and biogas plant. Lebanon.
South Africa, World Design Capital Cape Town: Talkoot Taxi. South Africa.
Mozambique, Taksvärkki ry: Waterless sanitation in Mozambique.
Tanzania: Aalto University Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme with Centre for Community Initiatives CCI. Affordable housing in Chamazi, urban scenarios in Dar es Salaam, Solid waste managent, Tanzania. *) joint field trip with SGT (ENG), Cities in Transition (ARTS) & How to change the world (BIZ), all participated in SGT programme.
Blog, housing: letsgotochamazi.wordpress.com
Blog, urban: futureofdar.wordpress.com
Blog, waste: hellooowaste.wordpress.com
2013 Projects: Lebanon, South Africa, Nepal & Tanzania
Lebanon, Al-Amal Institute for Disabled: Rock Village, self-sufficient water management and water use system. *) field trip.
South Africa, United Development: Waterless sanitation in South Africa.
Green Action Nepal (NGO): Secrets of Nepal. Connections between eco-tourism and waste management in rural Nepal.
Tanzania: Aalto University Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme with Centre for Community Initiatives CCI. Special projects with urban informal communities on housing, flooding, sanitation and waste management *) joint field trip with SGT (ENG), Cities in Transition (ARTS) & How to change the world (BIZ).
Blog, waste: welovewaste.wordpress.com
2012 Projects: Lebanon, Brazil, Taiwan, Kenya & Finland
Lebanon, Al-Amal Institute for Disabled: Rock Village self-sustaining energy solution *) field trip.
Brazil, WWF, The New Generation Plantations project survey:
Taipei City Government: Urban Ecopunture – creating new urban spaces by opening up the covered Leo-Gong Channel. *) field trip.
Kenya, Education Finder: Making Learning Fun through Games – developing a learning game for developing countries* Tested afterwards in Kenyan schools and developed further.
Finland: Aalto University Water and Development Research Group with Kemira: Phosphorus recycling.
2011 Projects: Finland, Kenya, India & Taiwan
Finland: Aalto Design Factory, Sustainable Campus; Waste Management.
SHALIN Finland: Building electronics to last, beyond e-waste management
Kemira: Nanomaterial and Plastic Debris in Aquatic system.
Belaku Trust India: Toying with Trash.
2010 Projects (Aalto): Kenya, Finland (no field trips)
SHALIN Suomi ry: Solar – Reflecting Energy for Community Development. Investigating the concept of solar concentrators and their application.
Finland, Nokia Siemens Networks: Innovative Solar Power for Remote Communities.
Finland, Aalto University: Water and Development Research Group: Transboundary Waters, need for Finland.
Finland, City of Paimio: Mustionjoki Cultural River Restoration.
Kisumu municipality: Solid Waste Management: Purging/Plastic.
2009 Projects (TKK): Jordan, Romania, Kenya, South Africa & Taiwan (no field trips)
WSP Group Finland: Transportation Planning in Amman, Jordan
TKK Water & Development Research Group: Role of Hydropower Sector to Promote Sustainable Development in Romania
SHALIN Suomi ry: Community Energy Based Solution to Climate Change Mitigation. Designing Technologies for Low Cost Carbon Capture and Storage for Local Communities
Nokia Siemens Networks: Village Connection
City of Taipei: Guandu-river master plan
2008 Projects (TKK): Indonesia & Kenya (no field trips)
UN-HABITAT: Tsunami Reconstrucion Evaluation in Banda Aceh Indonesia
SHALIN Suomi ry: Designing Participatory Tools for Sustainable Development in Kenya
SHALIN Suomi ry: Renewable Energy for Sustainable Communities and Universal Ecology – Use in Kenya
2007 Projects (TKK): Finland, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia & Nicaragua (no field trips)
Cities Beyond oil competition: Greater Helsinki Vision 2050
Sunila Oy: New Ways to Reuse/Recycle Pulp Mill Wastes
Finn Church Aid: Assessment of Farmer Field School in Bangladesh
Finn Church Aid: Analysis of Rural Development Programme in India 2001-2005
TKK Water and Development Research Group: Critical Issues for Sustainable Large-Scale Irrigation, with emphasis on the Stung Chinit Project, Kompong Thom, Cambodia
Ramboll Finnconsult: Rural Telephony and Municipal Connectivity in Nicaragua