Spring Public Lectures 2013-2014
Radical Swedes

Whatever Happened to Swedish Modernism?
Radical Swedes

"Modernism will always be with us.. for it is not primarily a revolution in diction... but is art coming to consciousness of its limitations and responsibilities." G. Josipovici

Josipovici understands modernism not as a style or a period of art history, but as a complex entanglement of artistic and societal problems and the responses articulated to them. He explains it as a kind of awareness of the precariousness of art and also of its responsibilities in the face of an increasing disenchatment of the world.

Today more than ever before we need to restore its radicalism to modernism. And this is probably more true for architecture and spatial practices in Sweden than for any other disciplines and locations. What is left of Swedish modernism and how can we work with it? Where are the radical Swedes? Can we think or imagine another radical Swedish architecture that is not only functional but also engaged with reality, anti-cynical and imaginative? Can a new Swedish modernism challenge today's lack of engagement, asymmetric development and growing spatial inequaliaties? Can we intervene in the suburbs of "miljonprogrammet" without falling in the traps and risks of postmodern self-reflexivity, active or passive nihilism, or fresh-conservatism? What is the role of the architect in the increasingly neoliberal housing market in Sweden? How can architecture become relevant in the development of Swedish cities and territories? Whatever happened to Swedish modernism?  (Alberto Altés Arlandis and Roemer van Toorn)

The lectures are organized by Roemer van Toorn, Professor Architectural Theory, in collaboration with the Swedish research school ResArc, the Laboratory of Immediate Architectural Intervention (LiAi) run by Professors Oren Lieberman & Alberto Altes Arlandis, and the Laboratory of Sustainable Architectural Production (LSAP) run by Professors Walter Unterrainer and Jüri Soolep at UMA.

(Photo: Tjärna Ängar, Borlange. Miljonprogrammet // Alberto Altés)