The Aalto University Guild of Architecture is a student organization especially for students of architecture and landscape architecture. It functions under the student union, AYY. The Guild was founded in 1908. However, it is rather known for its creative mindset than conservative traditions.
Among the most important missions of the Guild are advocating the students interest and organizing a myriad of events — everything from sports to parties and theater visits to important meetings. The Guild also administrates this webpage and and a Facebook group for its international students, which is one of the key channels of information, and sells cardboard at a student price at the department of architecture. The members of the Guild can be recognised from a white overall during student happenings. Else they are chiefly dressed in dark (e.g. black) colours and an architect’s bag. In student festivities they are prone to be carrying an over-sized flag of the Guild. All the events and other undertakings are organized by around 40 out of more than 300 active members of the Guild. Therefore the atmosphere is direct and warm. The most important connections for the Guild of Architecture are other Guilds under AYY, TOKYO and our siblings at Oulu and Tampere. The three guild of architecture students co-operate among other things by making together a magazine (Arkkitehtiopiskelija-lehti), organizing a yearly get-together and a summer event.
Wähäjoulu is organized annually on the 5th of December and is regarded as the Guild’s birthday. Thus it is the most important festivity of the year. The Finnish government has taken heed and appointed the following day for rest and patrioticism.
The history of Wähäjoulu consists of a plethora of various venues in and around Helsinki. Most of the time it follows the typical flow of an academic fest from a cocktail party to a dinner and later to an after party. The most withstanding part of the ever-changing concept is a herring breakfast enjoyed at the Yrjönkatu naturist swimming hall. The realisation of this event is at times unsure due to various naked mishaps.
Wähäjoulu is regarded amongst technology students (teekkarit) as an exquisite yet eccentric festivity typical for students of architecture. No doubt the most outlandish Wähäjoulu was the 100th birthday of the Guild. It was held in the Finlandia Hall accompanied by outdoor fireworks over the bay of Töölö and a miscalculated budget.