Excursion programme

The excursion of of the first year USP students in Autumn 2018 is taking place on a east-west axis north of the Helsinki CBD Area. This activity has two important roles to play:

  • It is a social “get together” for the new students to meet each-other during a intensive one and half-day program
  • It is an important educational activity since the excursion is carefully planned for students to familiarize themselves with the field of study of Studio 1 by the embodied experience of a bicycle ride through different landscapes and environments, and through tailored exercises they will conduct.

Urban exploration

A straight line of sight – an axis – plays important role in classical urban design. The reason for this is manifold. In Greek and Roman architecture it appeared as key connector and axis of bilateral symmetry. In Baroque time it became an elementary for creating tensions between monumental points of urban structure to be re invented in the dawn of modernism as tool to manage growth and urban extensions. Still many of these urban strategies can me observed weather in Rome, Paris or Helsinki. The axiality has not lost its charm and supports orientation, intelligibility and arrangement of core activities.

However as an abstract rule of thumb the axis has also served purposes that are mythical or esoteric – become a vehicle of bad planning, bad design and bad architecture. Even though our excursion starts along the Myllypuro central axis (Orpaanporras) the extension through the suburban fringe to Leppävaara doesn’t provide a “Rose Line” of hidden meaning, but simple a shortest 15 km stretch between A and B. The benefit of this approach is that it cuts the urban tissue randomly and gives an opportunity to observe elements of urban agglomeration seemingly separate from their intended, original context.

Cutting the urban neighborhood in unorthodox way also provides a good starting point for multitude of observations. Despite the fact that carrying a bike in the woods will give you unprepared experiences, it is to be remembered that this excursion is not a grand scale parkour exercise, so no swimming and fence climbing is expected.

During the trip 3 specific exercises are given. In addition to this, please, collect photos along the route with given themes: Urban centrality, Urban nature, Urban transformation, Urban living, Green corridors, Boulevardization, Sub/Urban landscape, Urban infrastructures, Places of production, Urban borders.
Three exercises are to be discussed on Friday 5th October. Me, myself & I exercise will be collected to USP student page. Additional photos will be used in your first blog post on Friday 14th September.

Travel safe, respect privacy and have fun!

Wednesday 12.9

LEG 1 WED 09:00
Meeting point: Kirveensilmänkuja 1 , Helsinki
Theme: Urban centrality
Exercise: Perception Exercise I
> please read more here: 1EX_USP_EXCURSION2018

LEG 2 WED 11:00
Meeting point: Viikin kalliot (see map below)
LAT 60°13’22.4″
LON 25°02’40.2″
(Find a path from bicycle route in Hallainvuorentie 19 block south-west corner)
Theme: Urban nature

LEG 3 WED 13:00
Meeting point: Lunch at restaurant Tähkä
Theme: Urban transformation
Exercise: Perception Exercise II
> please read more here: 2EX_ USP_EXCURSION2018

LEG 4 WED 15:00
Meeting point: Pähkinäsaarenkatu, Helsinki
Theme: Urban living

LEG 5 WED 16:30
Meeting point: Nastolantie 43, Helsinki
Theme: Green corridors

LEG 6 WED 17:30
Meeting point: Pohjolankatu 40, Helsinki
Theme: Boulevardization as a housing solution

Meeting point: Nuijamiestentie 10
Theme: Sup up of the day

Thursday 13.9

LEG 7 THU 09:30
Meeting point: Eliel Saarisen tie 24, Helsinki
Theme: Sub/Urban landscape
Exercise: Perception Exercise III
> please read more here: 3EX_USP_EXCURSION2018

LEG 8 THU 11:00
Meeting point: Valimo station
Theme: Urban infrastructures

LEG 9 THU 13:00
Meeting point: Mäkkylän station
Theme: Places of production

LEG 10 THU 14:00
Meeting point: Postipuunkuja Espoo
Theme: Urban borders

WRAP UP THU 15:00+
Meeting point: Läkkitori, Valurinkuja Espoo
Theme: Walk to Leppävaara Tower WSP-office for the wrap-up

WRAP UP SESSION 16:00 – 19:00

Excursion route on map


Thank you all!