Interplay of Cultures Studio: Sámi. Contemplating Northern Indigenous Cultures in Present Global Challenges

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | D4 Julkaistu kehittämis- tai tutkimusraportti tai -selvitys
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Aalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE, 4/2021
The land of the Sámi, called the Sápmi, spreads over the northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. As the only indigenous people in Europe, the Sámi have lived a nomadic life pursuing their traditional livelihoods. These continuous traditions have allowed them to develop a balance with nature unlike any other contemporary people in Europe. When the Aalto WiTLAB Interplay of Cultures Studio embarked on an exploration of the Sámi culture in spring 2021, we were humbled to realize how little we knew of the people that had inhabited the northern areas of Finnish Lapland for over 3000 years, and how much there was to learn. The studio instructions allowed multiple approaches, scales and perspectives, which is manifested in the variety of the completed projects. They grew into a rich and complex multitude, reflecting the challenging condition of being a designer, an architect and a human being in face of a new cultural setting. This publication presents the projects of 22 students, reflecting questions such as “How would I even start designing something from my privileged position, or use cultural inspirations without being guilty of cultural appropriation? How much have I thought of knowing something, that I don’t actually know? Or that I’m not even aware of not knowing? And how do I deal with the painful notion that knowing is not understanding?”
interplay of cultures, humanitarian architecture and development, global sustainability
Other note
Larsson, Nathanael (ed.) & Dalheimer, Franziska & del Marmol, Gaspard & Diémé, Kathleen & Excell, Astria & Hollmén, Saija & Hwang, Jinook & Jänkälä, Matti & Kaarlamo, Valtteri & Krohn, Akileia & Grayston, Maria Luice & Lecerf, Louise & Li, Xinyan & Lähdesmäki, Ida & Minkkinen, Petra & Mäkinen, Raisa & Nieminen, Sirena & Niskanen, Taru & Olaortua, Patricia & Pitkänen, Meeri & Romero, Katherine & Savela, Emma & Suomi, Maiju & Schineis, Moritz & Uusi-Kilponen, Iiris. 2021. Interplay of Cultures Studio: Sámi. Contemplating Northern Indigenous Cultures in Present Global Challenges. Aalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE. 4/2021. 109. ISSN 1799-4861 (electronic). ISBN 978-952-64-0572-8 (electronic).