An international network of scholars and practitioners
Bringing innovation in research and planning

About us

Cities are places of opportunity, sources of innovation and surprise. Within the SPIN Unit we explore the underlying spatial architecture and social foundations of these key urban qualities. This study is needed to help make cities even better and improve the effectiveness of new development plans. Through the use of our unique methods and digital tools, we can help create new opportunities, foster new quality practices, and envision new tangible spaces and innovative improvements of existing ones.

In order to tackle the complexity and dynamism of social and architectural urban features, we gathered a number of experienced experimenters and thinkers. By combining art and science, SPIN Unit has coalesced into an international network of academics and professionals. Born as an academic endeavour, it has built on the varied expertise of its members to find new and creative approaches to urban analytics and redefining the practice of urban design.

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We provide consulting, prototyping and data analytics for urban and regional studies, both for the public and private sector. From urban analysis to planning guidelines, our experiences focuses on fresh ideas and supporting major projects from the ground-up.

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We aim to establish a positive feedback loop between intervention initiatives and planning input

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We gather new ideas, and cluster around them talent, theorists, technicians, policymakers, funders, and investors, in order to get interesting projects off the ground and into the real world.

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We are an open laboratory to test new approaches. We develop pilot projects and collaborate with academic institution to speculate on the future of our cities, and we provide seasonal workshops and intensive seminars.

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As the SPIN members have different professions, SPIN provides a meeting point of their common interests and an outlet for their concerted efforts in the field of urban studies, outside their daily jobs – under the direction and coordination of urban studies scholars and experts.

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We are external to the market. As the SPIN members are full-time professionals, the SPIN environment is reserved for those collective projects in which we truly believe.

The Unit

Damiano Cerrone
Damiano Cerrone Co-founder, Interaction planner
Jesús López Baeza
Jesús López Baeza Architect
Prof. Panu Lehtovuori
Prof. Panu Lehtovuori Co-founder, urbanist
Daniel Giovannini
Daniel Giovannini Data analyst
Katherine Donaghy
Katherine Donaghy Board member, Project manager
Lesley Thornton-Cronin
Lesley Thornton-Cronin Academic consultant
Kristjan Männigo
Kristjan Männigo Board member, Parametric designer

SPIN intends to differentiate itself from the larger landscape of urban activism and philosophy by providing, rather than a unified goal or the deployment of specialised planning techniques, a fresh and coherent school of thought. Describing the complexity of the relations and collisions between individuals and the city calls for an interdisciplinary approach. Our team have a genuine appreciation for the research activity involved in urban studies and regional planning, as well as the variety of methods and techniques it entails.

Partners

Raul Kalvo
Raul Kalvo Software developer
Platvorm
Platvorm Digital platoforms

SPIN prides itself on its communication and presentation. Particular attention is reserved for the way results, methods, and expert advice are offered to the client and the public at large. We provide a visual and organic outlook on complex data sets, planning strategies and dynamics through traditional techniques, good design, and a variety of artistic practices.

The practice of city planning and society at large can benefit from our work. We aim to hack the invisible city, leverage the secret strengths of urban spaces, and explore how the many characters, all the different layers of the urban fabric come together.

Associates and consultants

Lev Manovich
Lev Manovich Project consultant
Helen Pau
Helen Pau SPIN UNIT NGO
Daniele Quercia
Daniele Quercia Project consultant
Luca D'Acci
Luca D'Acci Urbanist
Rossano Schifanella
Rossano Schifanella Project consultant
Michiru Nagatsu
Michiru Nagatsu Philosopher
Luca Maria Aiello
Luca Maria Aiello Project consultant
Christiane Bürklein
Christiane Bürklein Linguist and PR
Dr. Georgiana Varna
Dr. Georgiana Varna Urbanist

Our interdisciplinary approach brings together different minds to tackle complex problems that span disparate fields of study and schools of thought, to produce a single and unique solution. At the same time, the fluid, eclectic nature of SPIN lends itself to providing a multifaceted outlook onto apparently monolithic issues in urban planning and social systems.

Collaborators and Assistant researchers | 2017

Herbert Natta

Anthropologist

Kaisa Lindström

Architecture student

Nikolay Rudenko

Undergrad student

Giulio Pascucci

Architecture student

Maria Valese

Architecture student

Irene Cotroneo

Architecture student

Sami Maaizate

Architecture student

Francesco Betta

Architecture student

Sophie Gleizes

Social Scientist

Jarkko Salminen

Architecture student

Roni Rinne

Architecture student

Teresa Ruffino

Undergrad student

Ilaria Pierdicca

Architecture student

Alina Kontareva

Undergrad student

Kari Kitola

Architecture student

Jaakko Muikku

Architecture Student

Taivo Lints

Scientist

Triin Pitsi

Urbanist

Anni Kauhanen

Architecture Student

Zon Sutjarit

Social Scientist

Taneli Karjalainen

Architecture Student

Natalia Batrakova

Undergrad student