Greenhive

Greenhive is a platform that connects physical spaces and communities with environmentalists and commercial opportunities to create a hub that supports the Aalto ecosystem through educational activities and tourism.
Collaborative
STUDENTS INVOLVED
Yaxin Zheng
Hongyu Wang
ABOUT
Aalto University Architecture Department, Aalto University Campus and Real Estate (ACRE)
Aalto - City as a Service
This project aims to design services that can serve as platforms for co-creating value for Aalto University, opening their campus to the city, and turning a road into a lively street and community. Our learning objective is to bring service design to life through an end-to-end design strategy, value proposition, and touchpoint definition at the city level. Our theme is focusing on sustainability.
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Insights
Through our research, we have four key insights that guide our design direction: 1. Nature-based. Alvar Aalto, a pioneer of modern architecture and design, drew up the Otaniemi campus plans, emphasising nature is a crucial part of the Aalto campus’s identity. Nature also brings added value to campus users. For example, walking in the woods has been found to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. 2. Use summer space. Antti Ahlava, the vice-chancellor and professor of architecture from Aalto University, emphasised that it is unsustainable that the campus is empty in summer. 3. Biodiverse. After researching the ecosystem in Otaniemi, We found that “Biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human well-being is intimately linked.” 4. Sustainable activities. Aalto students want to be involved in sustainable activities but don't have many means to do that.

Problem Statement & Platform Overview

Based on these four key insights, we got our problem statement: How might we bring students and other stakeholders together in nature-based activities to create, nurture, and maintain more biodiverse and sustainable ecosystem cycles on the Aalto campus? Our proposition is a platform that connects physical spaces and communities with environmentalists and commercial opportunities to create a hub that supports the Aalto ecosystem through educational activities and tourism. Our service framework has four layers: infrastructures, resources, services, and relationships, which are the basis of Greenhive, supported by Aalto University. The black colour flow is financial. Greenhive invests in physical buildings and daily operations. Consumers pay for our services in restaurants, cafes, summer space, and summer festivals. We also have the greenhouse, organic fertiliser lab, and the Aalto sustainability lab, supported by a volunteer team, Greenhivers.

Service Ecosystem

The attributes we define for our service are circular, educational, inclusive, and collaborative: 1. We want to see how those things run in a circle loop, where resources are continuously repurposed. 2. We want to make our service educational, encouraging people to engage in sustainability actions. 3. Greenhive is not only for students but for everybody, including surrounding residents and tourists. 4. We want to make it a collaborative hub where people have the opportunity to share knowledge and skills. The diagram shows how Greenhive works sustainably. It has two lines that make up the entire circle. The inner line is the way of recycling food waste and producing organic fertilizer. And the outer line is the activities that people can participate in. It could start with people entering the restaurant and having a cup of coffee. Visitors could watch the fertilizer-making process. Greenhouse provides space for planting and picking.

Feedbacks
We prototyped with Aalto's faculty and students. They spoke highly of our cooperation. Our services help the architect build the project logics and storytelling. And we use physical buildings to deliver our services. So through this collaboration, we learned a lot from each other. Prof. Ahlava also suggested we could add the power plant into Greenhive. Students showed great interest in volunteering and summer activities. One engineering student also came up with the idea that he could collaborate with us to co-design the automated backstage system of Greenhive. Our next step is to test students' motivation who would be potential Greenhivers and how daily consumers and tourists pay for our services. Besides, we will explore how the power plant integrates into our circular economy.
Final Outcomes
The main building, Greenhive, has two floors. The eco-restaurant is located on the main street side with an outdoor cafe, achieving the goal of closely connecting the indoor and outdoor. Kitchen and organic fertilizer lab are on the ground floor. Restaurant and greenhouse both span two floors. In addition, there is a mini theatre and green roof on the first floor. In summer, people could enjoy the outdoor space in front of the Greenhive. While In winter, the outdoor space will be replaced by glass cubes. Warm yellow lights will illuminate the street. Special thanks to Aalto student Shenyu Sun for her architectural drawings.
special thanks
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