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SPIN Unit

Founded in 2012, we are a research & innovation practice dedicated to discovering urban values and translating them into progressive drivers of change. Critical and creative, we work across sectors, engaging with public agencies, companies, and non-profits to increase agency in their institutional context. Our conviction is that we should approach cities' urban, social, cultural, economic, and ecological potentials as tangible and digital domains. We developed the MetaMorphology approach to explore city form by examining the shape of the urban environment and its cultural landscape, emphasising the significance of technology and the rules of media platforms in creating urban loci.

In today's hybrid context of producing and contesting just urban spaces, we develop collaborative and inclusive approaches to cultivate urban commons, favouring home-grown technologies and allocating collective local assets to catalyse new ideas. To discover urban values and translate them into drivers of change, we focus on three tasks: making data meaningful, innovating interactions, and advancing education.

Making data meaningful

A complex data landscape requires finding the right balance between the big and the thick, the messy and the human. Data-driven narratives, emerging from complex data landscapes, can help communities exercise agency in their institutional contexts, especially when they are fresh, inclusive, and actionable. We recently worked with European Cities and organisations such as UNDP, the Estonian Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic affairs and Communication, FYMA and the Tallinn Architecture Biennale to carefully turn data into useful information, and transform that into orienting, actionable narratives.

Innovating interactions

Innovation in city planning is linked to the long waves of social and economic development. Change is speeding up and advanced societies are looking for new drivers of change and wellbeing that would be in tune with the needed systemic transition towards sustainability. We worked with the administrations of Jyväskylä, Narva and Harjumaa, and design offices like ALA, Karress+Brands to untap emerging potentials to drive a paradigm shift in urban and social progress by innovating how people interact with the urban design process.

Advancing education

We believe that cities need proactive, engaged, and collaborative citizens to become more resilient, inclusive, and just. Education plays a crucial role. Our challenge-based learning approach develops the requisite skills and knowledge, but also the confidence, curiosity, and critical thinking. Our MetaMorphology Labs have been organised for a global audience in Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu, St Petersburg, and other cities. Now, we are working on tailored courses and educational events for decision-makers on one hand, and for local urban communities on the other.

SPIN Unit Finland
Name: SPINUNIT Lab Oy
Business registration number: 2916199-1
VAT number: FI29161991
Address: Pursimiehenkatu 13, 00150 Helsinki

SPIN Unit Estonia
Name: SPINUNIT OÜ
Business Registration number: 14172199
VAT number: EE101935618
Address: Keapa, Patika küla, Rae vald, Harjumaa, Estonia, 75316

Estonian non-profit organisation for research operations:
Name: MTÜ Spatial Intelligence Unit
Registration number: 80353190
Address: Keapa, Patika küla, Rae vald, Harjumaa, Estonia, 75316