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Great and inspiring EFL Conference in Helsinki

By Joost Nieuwenhuijzen  /    

P1030757 (2)

With over 75 attendees from 10 European countries, the EFL Spring conference held in Helsinki last week was the best attended meeting since the start of EFL in 2008 ! The members showed a great commitment discuss a very wide range of housing topics, with a particular focus on the issue of the ageing population and to find housing solutions for the need for accessible housing in the years to come. A wide variety of opportunities have been presented and discussed.

On Wednesday 11th May, key notes speakers highlighted the fact that a “design for all” approach is the right answer to deliver accessible housing solutions. While prof. Jarmo Suominen (MIT) emphasized the need to think “living as a service instead of housing as a product”, prof. Anthea Tinker (Kings College, London) showed her vision of age-friendly cities: affordability, sense of community and shared facilities. Prof. Markku Hedman (Tampere University of Technology) delivered a presentation about the role of empathy in architecture designs. Finally, the growing need of accessible housing was presented with some key-figures by Jarmo Linden (ARA). 

On Thursday 12th May, the general assembly held in the morning introduced 4 new members of EFL. Following, presentations of topic groups and projects were the opportunity for members and associates to see the results of their cooperation and sharing of best practices. In the afternoon, the presentation of Vivalib CEO Muriel Dunoyez, a French initiative to keep elderly people connected to social networks and evolving environments was definitely one of the highlight of the EFL conference. Vivalib currently expanded activities to Netherlands and Germany.

The award ceremony of the EFL Design Competition was a great success: winning entries showed new innovative inclusive designs valued by members and associates (Jury report available on ARA website On Friday 13th May, great and enriching inputs from members and associates during workshops on refugee housing and EFL expertise.

We are already looking forward to see you all in Berlin, during the next EFL conference from 2-4 November 2016!

All 240 pictures available for registered members (password needed) via this link.

Joost Nieuwenhuijzen



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