Extending the Life of Leftover Spaces

Hella Hernberg of UDM is pursuing her doctoral studies at Aalto University, Department of Design, since fall 2016. Her research project, titled “Extending the Life of Leftover Spaces – Sustainable and adaptive reuse of built environment through participatory design and pioneer-driven practices”, discusses the potentials of participatory design and self-organised practices in the process of redevelopment and reuse of vacant real estates and spaces, within the context of sustainable urban development. Her doctoral research is supervised by Ramia Mazé, professor of new frontiers of design at Aalto.

The methodological approach draws on Research through Design tradition and qualitative research. Concrete design projects by Urban Dream Management are studied as cases.


Hernberg, H and Mazé, R. (2017) ‘Architect / Designer as ‘Urban Agent’: A case of mediating temporary use in cities’. In Nordes 2017 Design + Power. Drawing upon two cases, Kalasatama Temporary and Temporary Kera, this paper elaborates the role and work of architects and designers in mediating temporary use, taking the concept of ‘urban agent’ as a point of departure.

The research is funded partly by Kone Foundation and partly by Aalto University.



  • Project type: Doctoral research
  • University: Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design
  • Timeline: Fall 2016- (ongoing)
  • Funding: Kone Foundation and Aalto University