- Development studio


Teaching at Bergen School of Architecture + others.




Bergen School of Architecture + others

In collaboration with:

Andre`Fontes, Cecilie Andersson, Bror R Hansen, Thale Bjørnaheim & Hans Skotte

Location: 1998 Holguin – Cuba, 2000 Mostar - Bosnia, 2002 Esfahan – Iran, 2003 Exhibition

Esfahan – Iran, 2006 Guangzhou – Kina, 2006 Taipei – Taiwan, 2009 Chimundo - Mosambuiqe

Project description:

“Cultural transgression”.

Detached reality

“Our education is detached from reality”

Iwan, a Mozambican second year student of architecture.

“After four years as an architect student I was about to lose faith in architecture as something to aspire too”

Naeem, a Norwegian fifth year student of architecture.

The cultural and economic situation for these two students is totally different, but they express the same numb dejection over life in the beginning of their architectural path. Iwan expresses his concern about not working with the real problems of his country as one of the poorest in the world. Naeem expresses a feeling that the problems in western society are not being addressed or are simply well hidden in a country of seemingly endless opportunities.

We have seen the same phenomenon in other countries under big pressure. Weather it is poverty or post-war problematic, architecture students are not dealing with the real needs of their people. In Sarajevo, year 2000, while the living conditions for the urban population was still very poor, all the students were drawing big glossy hotels and monuments for peace.

In Guangzhou China in 2006 we find the same gap between the students work on big city plans that removes the historic city and their interests for dealing with the increasing problems around the “floating population”- conditions in the urban context. The reason for this is complex and perhaps understandable on some level. But why is the same feeling for detached reality confusingly alike in our western society?

One of the western cultures largest problems today is perhaps that we have problems to see our own needs. What is our problem? – Do we have a problem? – Or is that the problem?

If we are going to solve our own needs and be better prepared for an uncertain future, we may have to seek the answer outside the problems nearest horizon.

This raises the question of how the educational system is coping with the true needs of this world. A master course in “a unknown culture” can help us to such an understanding. This could generate a fertile cultural transgression in the positive modulation between different realities.

Cultural transgression

What is the value in cultural transgression?

What happens when Iwan and Naeem meet and work together?

In a world of conflicts, surprisingly enough this transgression often gives new and astonishing architectural outcomes close to real reality and far from our homogeneous globalization.

It is still important to realize that the main goal for such a study is self-adjusting. Learn about our own requirements by looking through the eyes of other cultures. Develop new methodology through practical participation and collaboration with students, locals, environment and planners. This contains an architectural and political potential to critique our one perception.