ALM 2015, course description and objectives

In 2015, Aalto LAB Mexico is one out of three case studies of Sustainable Global Technologies course in Aalto University. Therefore, the program is as follows: PHASE 1: Preparation – September to December 2014 SGT Studio course preparations and design, defining workshop objectives, call for applications for Aalto students, selecting the students. Aalto students took part on research & theory courses organized by the SGT Programme during autumn term 2014. PHASE 2: Aalto LAB Mexico & SGT Studio course – January to May 2015 The recruiting process will start in Mexico through the collaboration with the partner universities and former members of the team. Studio course starts with background studies and preparations of the field period. The students are preparing their own project plan for the spring term and doing required research for the field period supervised by their own group mentor. Although the Finnish and Mexican units can be working on different research topics while preparing for the fieldtrip, it is expected that they will conduct virtual meetings at least once a month and share the status of their research and preparation processes. PHASE 3: Workshop in the community in Calakmul in Mexico March/April 2015 Two weeks field period together with students from Aalto and from the Mexican partner universities. Aalto group will travel to Mexico and meet the local students in Mexico City. Whole group is travelling together to the community of 20 de Noviembre in Calakmul, share their findings with the local people and agree on an implementation plan. Series of workshops are conducted by the students and supported and supervised by facilitators and experts. PHASE 4: Review of the results and evaluation – May 2015   ALM 2015: Continuation of Eco-hostel project in 20 de Noviembre The opportunity for the development of this project was identified through a diagnosis conducted in the community 20 de Noviembre (Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico) in 2012; its development started formally in 2013. Students of Aalto University, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Technologic Institute of Monterrey conducted research and consulted experts. Then they travelled to the community again and gathered the pieces that were missing for conceptualizing the architectonic program and symbolic meaning of the project. The Eco-hostel is an architectonic experiment through which the most self-sufficient construction with the least environmental impact is sought. It is inspired by the traditional Mayan house. At the same time, it is meant to work as an element that would unify the different groups in the community that work around and depend upon the presence of tourists. The hostel also unifies the three main areas that were identified already in 2012; tourism, water (by reinforcing their water collection systems) and access to healthcare (through the concept of artesanía para el bienestar (engl. craft for welfare), developed in 2013 and which links their craft production to this respect). The hostel is meant to be owned by the community, run by the women and the main local beneficiaries should be the children (the communication room would at the same time work as a space where kids could do their homework, while the dining room would serve them breakfast and lunch, cooked by the women, on a daily basis). The first stage of the construction was built with resources that ALM gathered through a Mexican crowdfunding platform (transformadora ciel), but the greatest potential in the project lies in developing all the following within the piece of land that has been designated to ALM’s projects by the government body of 20 de Noviembre. The labbers of 2015 will mainly focus on point number 1, water:

  1. Water project ( Water sampling and analysis, Design of a water purifying system accordingly, Design solution for the broken community water tank, Design of appropriate dry toilets, Ritualizing bucket showering (re-valuing the traditional practice)).
  2. Communications (Installing rural internet service)
  3. Kitchen & dining room
  4. Store as showroom for ‘artesanía para el bienestar’

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