Hello, my name is Kate and I represent the team #11. It’s a lovely Sunday afternoon, isn’t it? At least in here. It’s november after all.
208 days until summer. My God! No-no, Finnish winters are lovely, but… Doesn’t it feel like with putting on all the layers of clothes, we also kind of seal ourselves from the outside world. No more hanging out by a lake, no more picnics in a park. We make less new friends. The interaction goes down. And that’s one of the problems the university aims to solve.

We talked to the students. And what did we find out? They tend to stick with their own crowds. They are driven by the identities of their study fields. Even more, they know about the social bubbles they live in. And they also have presumptions about the bubbles of others. This leads to spending most of the time at their department buildings and guild rooms.

To break these barriers the underused campus spaces can be used. The hall of a U-wing being one of them. It is located in the heart of the campus. Not far from the Library, learning center, student housing. In fact, not even far from here! It is well connected by the public transportation. Especially if the metro is here on time (fingers crossed). But still, students use it only as a transit point. Always in a rush, they run through it on their way to classes. Especially since the space does not serve a specific purpose like the Hub or the Learning Center. This is what the space looks like now.

How do we make the space pleasurable? What is it that the visitors can’t find on the campus, or maybe even anywhere near? We asked finnish and international students, and most of them mentioned summer, warmth. So, how about some summer in the middle of campus? Our little warm island is filled with the large grained sand. Just bury your toes, enjoy the sensation. For a short while it’s your vacation. Put the mask down. You are just you. We believe that if students reveal their personalities beyond professional identities it will help to break down the barriers and facilitate more interdisciplinary conversations, friendships, and initiatives. That’s how it all starts – with a lucky encounter. Introducing PitStop, the underSANDing place. So what do we have here? Firstly, PitStop would have 24h access. There are no 24/7 activity spaces in Otaniemi. The existing spaces are aimed for studying. We suggest to separate the PitStop from the rest of the building during the night time as the location allows it.

The main star of our concept is the sandpit. Being a noticible spot on the campus map, it will bring students to the hall where other activities can be organized: movie nights, game tournaments, national cousine days. To find out what’s going on at the StopPit you can check out the App. Whether you want to discuss your thesis topic raise a social issue or just meet new peeps. There you can see what kind of topics are being discussed at the PitStop. Then, a newcomer can either choose to join one of the existing conversations or propose a new topic. In a nutshell, With PitStop, we offer Aalto students a space to start a conversation with each other. And as we all know, a conversation is a start of all good things.

Inspiration

To create cheerfulness of the summer and a child-like interaction. Also the ballpit.

What it does

Encourages conversation.

Challenges we ran into

Behavioral patterns.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The PitStop.

What we learned

Interdisciplinary way of working.

What's next for PitStop

To make it real.

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