We need to end new construction.

My practice is guided by a reservation towards architecture. This means a critical view towards the impacts and the practices of the discipline. Architects have long promoted their designs as a force for good. However, less focus has been placed on the destructive force of architecture. To me architecture should take full responsibility for its consequences and recognize that it is not separated from ethical considerations. In the words of Mark Wigley: “ A sustained pessimism about architecture might be a much more valuable guide to design than the usual optimism.” (1)
 I believe that the solution to the crises of our time is not a new building. My interests in architecture focus on working with the great diversity of construction in our existing built environment. My architectural approach is that of appropriation, adaptation and occupation of spaces. In my view in Finland we have all the buildings we need and the mission of architecture in the age of the climate crisis should be to redistribute and govern the spaces that already exist. The tools of such architecture strain away from traditional design towards politics, legislation, governance, care, maintenance and collective action. Inspired by the Moratorium on New Construction initiative by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (2), I believe that architecture without new construction can provide an exciting and more meaningful direction for the field.

In my own work I am focusing especially on issues or repair, care and maintenance, justice in urban development, and collective action. 

I believe that the aim of architecture should not be to always leave a mark or a monument as a proof of the architect’s contribution. I am interested in humble architecture and the invisible acts of care and maintenance that sustain the built environment we occupy. To me the best design work can consist of thorough research and reflection resulting in no construction at all. 
In projects, were they construction of individual buildings or urban planning, I am interested in the underlying issues guiding the development. I am especially interested in the issues of social, environmental and economic justice in shaping cities. In my work I have focused on power dynamics in planning related to resources and ownership as well as the role of communities in shaping their own living environment.
Most of my work is focused around collective action. Through the initiatives I have started, I have aimed to act collectively rather than individually. In the approaches of both the You Tell Me Collective as well as Art For All the aim is to engage a wider community and find allies in collectives and organizations with similar interests. At the heart of both initiatives are ideals of sharing and collaborating instead of competition.
Collectivity is at the heart of architecture and I believe that it is time to question our understanding of authorship. Architecture is rarely done alone. Most projects are the result of the collaboration of multiple designers, construction workers, specialists and construction material manufacturers. After the work is constructed it is taken over by the users who in turn shape and appropriate the space. Architecture is a process, with contributions from a multitude of stakeholders throughout time. Works of architecture are not necessarily ever completed.

(1) Wigley, M. (2021). Returning the Gift - Running Architecture in Reverse. In Non-Extractive Architecture - On Design Without Depletion. Italy: Sternberg Press. (pp. 42-56) 
(2) Malterre-Barthes, C. A Moratorium on New Construction. [online] Retrieved from https://www.charlottemalterrebarthes.com/research/tu-berlin/a-moratorium-on-new-construction
Back to Top