Co-designing a dream workspace

A small and excited group gathered to re-imagine an inspiring workspace for environmental researchers. Nessling Foundation is opening a workspace of 200m2 and invites its users to brainstorm what they want and need from it. Sharing, sustainability and inspiration are key values!

Environmental researchers will soon have a place to work whether they’re in town for a few days or need a quiet space to work in regularly. Because the Nessling Foundation is offering this space to researchers for free, they want to engage them in the planning project to be sure that the space will be used to its highest potential.

Two students from Aalto University’s Spatial and Product Design program, Zoé Blanchard and Bice Lee Herold, organized a workshop to hear out researchers’ ideas and wishes for the space. Their job is to make sure that the people who will use the space have a say in how it is designed.

“It is important that the spaces we spend most of the time during the day are as good as possible. Space influences our behaviour and general wellbeing”, Zoé Blanchard says.


The workspace will have quiet rooms for individual work, shared spaces for group work, a communal kitchen and a break room with sofas and music. It will even be possible for the researchers to organize small-scale events, like workshops, seminars and presentations to enhance dialogue in environmental knowledge.

Blanchard and Herold want the researchers to feel comfortable and open to sharing and exchanging information to contribute to a common objective: taking care of our environment.

“A well-functioning and welcoming space offers researchers the best environment to come up with innovative ideas for efficient environmental solutions”, Blanchard envisions.


The two spatial design students are inspired by thoughts of sustainability and circular economy. The materials used in the workspace are going to be as sustainable and multifunctional as possible. The furniture will be durable quality and multipurpose and all possible materials will be recycled. Sharing will be applied whenever possible, for example with cooking lunch together.

The basic renovation is now ready and the planning of the space is on with full speed. The workspace will open its doors to researchers in March 2016.

Stay tuned! We will inform you when the workspace is ready.

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