In 2017, 140 master students and 20 teachers will be working with different locations all over the Central Denmark Region to shape the future. The project is called Architecture Moves and is Aarhus School of Architecture’s contribution to Aarhus European Capital of Culture. The results of the project will be presented at a large exhibition in Vennelystparken, held in connection with the Aarhus Festival Week and the architecture festival RISING Architecture Week.
Physical proposals for solving today’s challenges
“Architecture is of great importance to our everyday lives. It touches all of us. We literally walk around inside it; architecture shapes us as human beings.
As architects, we can physically shape the way we arrange our future environment, and we would like to come up with concrete suggestions for solving the many challenges we face: climate changes, refugee flows, resource shortages, depopulation in some areas and extreme density of population in other areas,” says Teaching Associate Professor Anne Mette Boye, one of the project coordinators of Architecture Moves.
Engaging through Architecture
Engaging through Architecture is the overall vision of Aarhus School of Architecture. We want our students to engage with and relate to societal challenges – local, national as well as global. Architecture Moves should be understood in this context. The subjects the students work with include the future mobility and habitation in the region – with an emphasis on public housing, adaptable villages that can both shrink and grow as needed, and creating a local food production with the potential to generate more life in rural areas.
Finding solutions through dialogue and cooperation
“Rethink is the theme of the Capital of Culture year. That is not to say we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and start all over again. We should begin with the history of the place and the existing conditions and from there find out how we can innovate and create sustainable solutions for the future. To do this we should also look for knowledge and experience outside Denmark,” states Anne Mette Boye.
After mapping the relevant areas, students will be working in close contact with various stakeholders and collaborators. Depending on the nature of the assignments, we will also involve international lecturers and teachers who can identify new approaches and working methods in our teaching activities. Based on this, the students then prepare concrete physical proposals.
Kick-starting the future
According to Associate Professor Chris Thurlbourne, who is head of the Master’s degree programme, the school’s contribution to the Capital of Culture year is a unique opportunity for those students who participate in the project:
“They are used to working with concrete physical locations and issues – and engaging in dialogue with the world outside the school. But the fact that all master students will be working with current challenges in the Central Denmark Region at one and the same time will be both very motivating and provide inspiration for our study environment.”
He hopes that the students’ diverse projects will contribute to discussions about the future of the region:
“In the autumn, students will be given the opportunity of presenting their projects and discussing their ideas with the citizens and politicians of the region. Our hope is that the projects can provoke, engage and kickstart a dialogue on how we can make the Central Denmark Region an even better place to live and work. ”
Exhibition and discussions
Architecture Moves culminates in a large exhibition in Vennelystparken, where the students’ projects will be presented and discussed. The exhibition will be arranged in connection with the Aarhus Festival from 25 August to 3 September and the RISING Architecture Festival from 11 to 15 September.