Nordic Architecture in Theory and Practice

architecture nordic seminar

Come hear Professor Reidar Due (French), author of the forthcoming Thinking Architecture discuss how the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s work can be seen to combine social democratic ideals with an aesthetic avant-garde, and Mr Kasper Frandsen, a leading Copenhagen-based architect show how he seeks to implement the values of the Scandinavian architectural legacy in his work today.

Professor Reidar DueThe Ambiguous Social Modernism of Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto and his buildings are emblematic of a particular, and perhaps ambiguous, social modernism. This is an aesthetic avant-garde wedded to social democratic ideas. There would, normally, be a tension between these two notions, between architectural modernism and the ethos of social democratic political norms. Aalto achieves, or is seen to acheive, a synthesis between these two ideals. The talk explores the intellectual background of Aalto's work from the perspective of this problem.

Reidar Due teaches Film Aesthetics at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of French at Magdalen College. He wrote his PhD thesis on the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and has published a book on the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. His most recent book, entitled Love in Motion, Erotic relationships in Film, explores how film, in the course of its history, is able to produce different kinds of meaning concerning love. In his next book, Thinking Architecture, he analyses how architecture throughout history has been thought to produce meaning.

Mr Kasper FrandsenNordic Architecture. Society and Man - Light and Matter

Scandinavian architecture has proven to be a constant reflection of inherent human values through the intense a development of the welfare society over the last century. Though styles may have changed, its key values remain intact: whether nested in the woods, built on farmland or constructed in a tight urban setting, Scandinavian architecture at its best revolves around a profound care for man, with an emphasis on human scale and a profound sense of place. Mr Frandsen will discuss how these values are reflected in practice through a guided tour of modern Scandinavian architecture, ranging from the work of Asplund, Aalto, Utzon, and Jacobsen to contemporary figures like Lundgaard & Tranberg, COBE and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

Kasper Frandsen is an architect and associate partner at the Denmark-based Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Trained at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and having worked on the design of a new library building of the Cambridge University Department of Chemistry early on in his career, Mr Frandsen has completed a wide range of prize-winning projects at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in the last 15 years.


Nordic Network

Contact name: Eveliina Pulkki

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Audience: Open to all