Interplay of Cultures Studio 2022 Sámi: Architecture that leaves no trace in the environment

The Interplay of Cultures 2022 studio is a masters level course at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Architecture. This year the studio explored Sámi cultures and their way of relating to our material reality. In the exhibition, five student projects are showcased through different visual mediums.
Image representing the Sami culture
The Interplay of Cultures Studio seeks to understand Sámi cultures and their way of building. Photo: Jie Wu
Image showcasing Sami architectural practice
Photo: Eszter Nagy

The Interplay of Cultures Studio

The Interplay of Cultures Studio, focuses on the thematic area of Global Sustainability and Cultural Locality, encompassing all scales of architectural design. This year we sought understanding on Sámi cultures and their way of building. Questioning, what we could learn from it in relation to our current Western ways of building. The focus of the course was on knowledge building on sustainable design solutions and culturally sensitive architecture.

During the studio we investigated Northern indigenous cultures to learn how they have lived in relation to the natural environment, how they have found shelter and livelihood in the harsh climate while leaving little physical traces of their presence. We inquire into the tradition and contemporary culture of the Sámi people.

The students explored what Sámi architecture is and what kind of cultural features are reflected in it. Then we set our eyes on our own Western culture. What cultural features are reflected in the way we build? What needs to change for us to achieve a more balanced relationship with the more than human world?

Photo of a student concept from the Interplay of Cultures course
The House of Landscape by Kaisa Penttilä, Janina Hedström, Pihla Kuusela & Alice Martin

Student projects

  1. The House of Landscape 
    Animation film, installation, scale model, and a poster
    Team: Kaisa Penttilä, Janina Hedström, Pihla Kuusela, Alice Martin  
  2. Backyard of Information 
    A poster, printed booklets, and a bench 
    Team: Ia Cedercreutz, Rémi Jourdan, Aapo Niinikoski
  3. Four Stages of Permanance 
    A poster 
    Team: Jie Wu, Lucas Auvard, Juhani Laaksonen
  4. Regeneration of Rajasaari 
    A poster + tablet gif 
    Team: Xuxiao Ma, Henna Seppälä, Elsa Vilminko, Eszter Nagy 
  5. Principles for Sustainable Urban Planning 
    A poster
    Team: Maija Moberg, Saki Sawada, Santtu Virtanen, Lauri Kärpänoja 

The Interplay of Cultures studio teachers: 

  • Saija Hollmén, Professor of Practice in Humanitarian Architecture, Architect SAFA
  • Maiju Suomi, University Teacher, Architect SAFA
  • Taru Niskanen, University Teacher, Architect SAFA
  • Eve Sarapää, Architect SAFA 

Interplay of Cultures Studio organized workshop and conversation with Joar Nango, a Sámi artist and architect featured in the ARS 22 exhibition by the Finnish National Gallery KIASMA.  

Raisa Mäkinen | Nature House

Interplay of Cultures Studio: Sámi

The year 2021 Interplay of Culture Studio shares a set of works from a collaboration with the Siida museum and representatives of the Sámi communities in Finnish Lapland / Sápmi. Along with a great appreciation of the rich Sámi culture, the exhibition also gives insight into the complex political and future challenges of the Arctic landscape.

exhibition offers photos, textiles and structures

Interplay of cultures – Education in Global Sustainability

A selection of student projects celebrate the 25th anniversary of education in global sustainability and humanitarian development at Aalto.

Life 1.5 in black font and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

Life 1.5 – an exhibition of planet-friendly materials, fashion and food

Designs for a Cooler Planet is a five-week-long festival celebrating experiments in planet-friendly materials, fashion, and food.

Black font stating "What's the future made of?" and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

What's the future made of?

Planet-friendly alternatives for materials, mindsets and architecture.

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