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Landscape architect Eetu Mykkänen receives Lappset prize

Mykkänen's master’s thesis addresses identity and its importance for landscape architects.
Kontulan keskusta, jonka suunnittelukilpailun aineistoa Eetu Mykkänen käytti diplomityössään
Kontula: Mykkänen examines how the competition proposals for the Kontula center take into account the identity of the residential area and its residents.

Understanding landscape identity is taken for granted in the work of a landscape architect or architect. However, Eetu Mykkänen shows in his Master’s thesis that identity is a more complex phenomenon than imagined, and that a deep understanding of it is often lacking in our field.

It is therefore important to increase designers and planners' understanding of identity construction and the ways in which landscape architects can influence both the identity of a place and, through this, the personal identities of its inhabitants and the people who experience it. Spaces, functions and symbolism/symbolic meanings have the potential to both represent and marginalise identities. Mykkänen uses as an example the material from the idea competition for suburb Kontula’s centre to show that in our field identity is often treated superficially and without a human and social dimension.

The Lappset committee considers the topic of the Master’s thesis to be socially relevant and theoretically interesting.

‘The work is a critical and stimulating discussion on the role of identity in landscape architecture. It highlights the responsibility of the designer in shaping the identities of places and, by extension, of people. We influence identities - whether we do it consciously or not,’ the prize is justified.

Mies punaisessa takissa pipo päässä seisoo kädet taskuissa lumisessa maisemassa
Eetu Mykkänen

The Lappset prize is given to the best Master's thesis in landscape architecture. It is awarded annually to the author of the best Master’s thesis in Aalto University's Landscape Architecture programme. The prize amounts to EUR 2 000 and is donated by Lappset Group Oy.

The thesis was supervised by Professor Jyrki Sinkkilä, Aalto University and advised by PhD Pekka Tuominen, University of Helsinki.

Contact:

Eetu Mykkänen, [email protected]

Lecturer Emilia Weckman, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, [email protected]

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