My research interests focus on the relations of spatial, functional, cultural and social factors in urban housing environments and on the questions of inclusive design in the context of increasing diversity in dwellers’ everyday lives.
In 2006 I graduated from Tampere School of Architecture and started my own architectural studio Arkkitehtitoimisto Huvila Oy in Helsinki. Since then we have been focusing on dweller-oriented housing design. Huvila’s design cases range from one-family houses and house renovations to co-operative townhouse and multistory apartment block projects and urban infills.
Besides the practical case work in housing design, my other professional passion is in design research. In my ongoing PhD research project, with the working title ‘Cultural Encounters in Housing Environments – Cultural Diversity of Everyday Life in Urban Housing Design’, I focus on the challenges and possibilities in spatial design that emerge from the increasing diversity of everyday life, needs and practices in urban areas. In recent years I have also worked on a multidisciplinary research project: Dwellers in Agile Cities (2016-2019), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. In that project my focus was on spatio-functional characteristics in integrated housing cases, and in the potentials of inclusive shared spaces.
Current environmental and societal developments in urban areas highlight the role of multidisciplinary knowledge in design. Combining design and research has given me an excellent experience in integrating conceptual and practical thinking that is useful in creating new solutions to complex problems. Also, my long-time commitment of co-designing with dweller clients has given sensitivity towards the mundane needs that create essential meanings to housing environments from the grassroots perspectives. Drawing from these capacities has resulted e.g. in awarded competition entries in housing related design competitions.
Practice work: www.ahuvila.fi
2020-2022: 'Residential change - the potential of common and private spaces’ , a 2 year research project funded by YH Kodit housing foundation and YH Kodit housing company - Key researchers are Katja Maununaho, Tapio Kaasalainen, Sini Saarimaa and Elina Luotonen with Jyrki Tarpio and Sofie Pelsmakers.
Ketterän asumisen keittokirja. (Agile Housing Cookbook). An online internet application that consists of articles concerning agile urban housing and a systematic categorization of different means and recipes in contemporary agile housing design cases. The application is developed in co-operation with project researchers and stakeholders of the Dwellers in Agile Cities project. https://housingcookbook.com/
2016-2019: Dwellers in Agile Cities & https://housingcookbook.com/ (Jyrki Tarpio and Katja Maununaho, Sini Saarimaa). The DAC project recognized future living needs and created measures and models for improving urban housing and development. Project defined the dweller as a key driver of urban development and change. Project was funded by the Academy of Finland, and won the first Tampere University Social Impact award.
Peer-reviewed journal articles
- Maununaho, K. 2018. Ihmisen näkökulma integroidun asumisen jaetuissa tiloissa. Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu 2018:4 vol 56.
- Maununaho, K. 2018. Observer, Expert, or Activist: Changing Roles in Design Research Project. THE PRODUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE IN ARCHITECTURE BY PHD RESEARCH IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES Proceeding Series 2018:1, p. 269-288. Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research.
- Maununaho K. 2016. ’Political, practical and architectural notions of the concept of the right to the city in neighbourhood regeneration’, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, vol. 6, issue 1, p. 58-64, DOI: 10.1515/njmr-2016-0008.
- Maununaho, K. 2012. Cultural encounters and design; The role of design in researching multicultural issues in residential environments. Proceedings of the 3rd Symposium of Architectural Research 2011: Research & Praxis. Arkkitehtuuritutkimuksen päivät 2011, Oulu.
- Maununaho K. 2019. Purkamalla ketteryyttä ja kestävyyttä. In Kyrönviita M. & Leino H. (eds.) Ketterä kaupunki: Blogit.
- Maununaho K. 2019. Vastuu asuntorakentamisessa – opittavaa Wienistä, osa kaksi. In Kyrönviita M. & Leino H. (eds.) Ketterä kaupunki: Blogit.
- Maununaho K., Saarimaa S. 2019. The need for adaptive and inclusive housing – Thoughts after the Alvar Aalto Symposium 2018, pt.2. In Kyrönviita M. & Leino H. (eds.) Ketterä kaupunki: Blogit.
- Maununaho, K. 2018. Diversity scales for integrated housing in multicultural city. 14th International Alvar Aalto Symposium. New Housing Solutions for Cities in Change. Alvar Aalto Foundation, Jyväskylä.
- Maununaho K, Virkkala I. 2011. Monikulttuurisuus on osa meitä. Arkkitehti 4/2011. Helsinki: Suomen arkkitehtiliitto.
- Maununaho K. 2007. Monikulttuurinen asuinalue – haaste ja voimavara. Asu ja rakenna 2-2007. Helsinki: Ympäristöministeriö.
Awarded design competition entries
- 2019 Asuntoreformi Helsinki – asuminen 2020 asumisen kehittämisideat, 1st prize
- 2013 Housing fair in Vantaa 2015 single-family house site allocation competition, winning entry
- 2012 City of Helsinki Sörnäistenniemi townhouse site allocation competition, winning entry
- 2006 City of Helsinki co-housing site allocation competition, winning entry
- 2006 Europan 8 Kuopio, shared 1st prize
- 2005 Espoon Uusimäen alueen yleinen arkkitehtuurikilpailu, honourable mention
- 2005 Vuoreksen Mäyränmäen korttelikilpailu, honourable mention
- 2005 Housing fair in Hämeenlinna 2007 single-family house site allocation competition, winning entry
- 2004 Housing fair in Espoo 2006 single-family house site allocation competition, winning entry