Tuesday, February 26, 2013

AIX Architects new partner: –We must turn cultural differences to our advantage!


AIX Architects already participated in WOOD 2010. Now they have become a partner to help Virserum Art Museum’s work with the Architecture of Necessity. Magnus Silfverhielm is an architect at AIX, a professor at Linnaeus University and a recognised profile:

What is the current state of Swedish architecture?
As architects we have great freedom in terms of the idea phase, but the end result is nevertheless dependent on the contractor and legislation. The construction industry works like a medieval guild. The small homes industry is bleeding. We need a significant readjustment. The choice and development of materials is one area where architects can exercise some influence. Biomass development is advancing fast and may play a big part in the path towards a sustainable architecture.

Can social planning stop segregation? 
We have to turn cultural differences to our advantage. Rococo, renaissance and new modernism have shown how the world is reflected in Swedish design. Our surroundings can generate creativity, but only as long as we allow for it. The home acts as a reflection of society. According to the UN Charter, a home is a social right. In spite of this, homes have become financial instruments. High property prices in urban areas coupled with differentiating local legislature create big obstacles for working architects. All solutions are location-specific. Architects are the obedient tools of contemporary society. We act according to the stipulations of the powers that be.

How can Swedish cities meet the requirements demanded by the Architecture of Necessity? Densification and efficiency must be a priority. Building a bathroom requires the input of eight different occupations over 17 different stages of construction. Were all of this to take place in factory it would entail a quicker, safer and more coordinated process. There is hope for the Swedish small homes industry, but only if change occurs.

Invitation to WOOD SUMMIT SMÅLAND, 26-27 June 2013


The theme for WOOD SUMMIT SMÅLAND 2013 is the systems change of architecture. What are the ecological, social and economic challenges we're facing? How will the sustainable society be shaped?

The summit will be moderated by Claes Caldenby (SWE), professor of architectural theory and history at Chalmers University of Technology. Caldenby is chair of the jury for the Architecture of Necessity. The programme will be conducted partially in English.

26 June: Challenges

The rate of population growth is increasing, especially in urban areas. Improved communication means that more and more people see how life is in the western world, and they seek to attain the same standard of living. Coupled with climate change, the growth in population will result in water shortages, and therefore shortcomings in farming. Raw materials and bio-systems are increasingly being exploited, and the non-renewables will run out.

Speakers for this topic are:

Per-Olof Östergren (SWE) is a professor of social medicine at Lund University and a member of the Malmö Commission.

Christer Sanne (SWE) is an independent researcher and columnist, civil engineer and M.Sc. and Ph.D. associate professor senior advicer KTH and former associate professor of urban planning at KTH. Sanne has worked with traffic and city planning, health care issues and the future of employment, especially with regards to working hours. Most recently he has authored the report How can we live sustainably by 2030 on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

David Jonstad (SWE) is an author, freelance journalist and editor of Effekt Klimatmagasinet. His latest book is entitled Kollaps – Livet vid civilisationens slut (Collapse – life at the end of civilisation).

Josefine Wangel (SWE) is a PhD in planning and decision analysis, and a researcher at the department for environmental strategic analysis at KTH. Wangle is participating in the recently released book Hållbarhetens villkor (The Terms of Sustainability) with the article How sustainable is Hammarby sjöstad och Norra djurgårdsstaden?

The following will take part in a panel discussion on the possibilities of change:
Karin Svensson Smith (SWE) is a traffic politician and former member of the Swedish parliament for the Swedish Green Party.

Katarina Pelin (SWE) is the director of the environment in Malmö and sits on the jury for the Architecture of Necessity 2013.

Vanja Larberg (SWE) is an investigative architect for Gothenburg city's S2020 sustainability project.

The day will end with a dinner, during which the winners of the Architecture of Necessity will be presented. The WOOD 2013 exhibitions will also be presented.

27 June: Shaping the sustainable society

In most contexts the need for a systems change is highlighted. What does it entail? What technological challenges does it pose? How are values and relations changed? What does it mean for community planning? How do we change the foundations for construction and architecture? What do the notions of the bio-based society mean?

Jim Taggart (CAN) is an architect from the University of Sheffield, UK. Taggart teaches in history and theory within the framework of the architectural sciences programme at British Columbia Institute of Technology. Since 1992 his focus has been on architecture, city planning and sustainable development, and he has produced several works on these topics. Taggart is also the editor for Sustainable Architecture and Building magazine (SABMag).

Sadie Morgan (UK) is an architect at the Royal College of Arts and one of the founders of the international award-winning architectural bureau dRMM. Morgan is a well-established guest speaker and jury member.

Andreas G Gjertsen (NOR) is an architect and lecturer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Architectural Design, Form and Colour Studies department. Together with Yashar Hanstad (NOR), Gjertsen founded Tyin Tegnestue that works on projects in places like Sumatra, Uganda and Norway with a focus on involving the local population. Gjertsen and Hanstad has won several international awards, including the Architecture of Necessity 2010, for their work on the Soe Ker Tie House orphanage, among others.

Stefan Behnisch (DE) has studied philosophy and economics followed by architecture at the Universität Karlsruhe. Behnisch is the co-founder of Behnisch Architekten and an established advocate for, and guest speaker on, sustainable construction.

The winners of the Architecture of Necessity will present their projects throughout the day.

The day will finish with a panel debate on the bio-based society with participation from, among others, the following:

Jan Lagerström (SWE), research director at the Swedish Forest Industries Federation.
Leif Gustavsson (SWE), professor of structural engineering at the Linnaeus University.

More participants to be confirmed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Architectural Association of Kenya supports the triennal


-We owe it to ourselves.

Executive Officer Jacob W. Mwangi and Emma Miloyo, a Kenyan architect, plan to join the presentation of the awarded projects at Wood Summit Smaland, 26 to 27 June 2013.


Why do you choose to support the international work with the Architecture of Necessity triennal? We as the AAK feel the Architecture of Necessity’s vision of practical, sustainable solutions to meet human needs is quite apt and timely. By supporting this initiative and sharing it with our members, the AAK will be working to achieve a more sustainable built environment in our region.

How do we reach a sustainable world by architecture and community planning? Architecture is a very crucial part  in the entire blueprint of achieving a sustainable world. Architecture and planning creates the framework and skeleton on which everyday life runs. If this framework is sustainable, then it has a great impact on the goal of a sustainable world, it is an important first step.

What part of the manifesto Architecture of Necessity is the most immediate to you right now? SUSTAINABLE. If our built environment is sustainable, then the rest i.e. Responsible, Diligent, Just and Open all inevitably fall into place. Sustainability is all encompassing.

What inspires you in your aim for a sustainable future? The fact that we have to preserve our world  for ourselves and for future generations. What if previous generations had not managed resources responsibly, what quality of life would we have? We owe it to ourselves.