Democratic Architecture - a process

Date: October 24
Time: 3pm
Location: The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place

Event description:

In a two-hour program at the Center for Architecture, featured guests will present and discuss how democratic architecture gives our communities a voice in the architectural process and the freedom to roam, play, protest and live in our public space.

Democratic architecture and urban space ensures human well-being for all, from children to the elderly. Sweden’s egalitarian society and intimate relation to nature has influenced contemporary urban design with a fine balance between social demands and environmental needs.


Per Franson, Vice Dean of Faculty KTH School of Architecture
Christer Larsson, City Planning Director Malmö
Ulrika Stenkula, Partner at White Arkitekter
David Burney, Academic Coordinator at Pratt Institute
Claudia Herasme, Director Urban Design at NYC DCP
Chris Sharples, Partner at SHoP
Moderated by:  
Linda Schuur, Founding Partner of STHLMNYC


Aiming for Democratic Architecture

Date: October 26-28
Time: 10am-5pm – Opening Fika! Thurday, October 26, 11am
Location: Van Alen Institute, 30 West 22nd St

Event Description:  

The interactive exhibition Aiming for Democratic Architecture is an attempt to open up a wider discussion of what democratic space can be and how to create it, what tools are available and how to develop them even further. The exhibition and connected workshops provides an experience of Sweden’s intimate relation to nature and its egalitarian society, the backdrop of democratic architecture and urban design. It features examples of architectural projects and invites visitors to wander through the Swedish landscape and society. 

Sweden has a long tradition of creating open and democratic spaces, with processes where everyone is able to get involved. Inclusion is a value we treasure in the global community of today. But we also face challenges and search for new solutions. We use design as a tool to innovate and solve problems.

Inauguration of the installation: October 26 at 11 am, coffee will be served.


Democratic Architecture

Date: October 26, 27 & 28
Location: Van Alen Institute, 30 West 22nd St

Event Description: 

Three evening sessions will take place where featured speakers and other guests explore what democratic space can be and how to create it, what tools are available and how to develop them even further. 

Informal conversations with participants from both Sweden and New York will reflect on the concept of democratic space and today’s contemporary challenges. How can Swedish design thinking contribute to better democratic urban spaces globally? How can Swedish democratic processes be implemented in other cities and communities? How can the global and diverse city of New York inspire Sweden? And how can we through collaboration find creative solutions to make the built environment more sustainable and democratic? 

In addition to the conversations, workshops will be organised, where we can go more into depth with the mentioned issues:

Workshop 1:

Self Build City/Self Build Housing Färgfabriken/KTH

October 26th at 1pm

There is a shortage of affordable housing in Sweden, with the situation for newly arrived immigrants serving as the most glaring and obvious example. During two hours we explore self build housing as a tool to meet the demand for affordable housing in a creative, innovative and inclusive way – taking our cue from the pilot project in Knivsta, Sweden.

KTH School of Architecture, Färgfabriken and Knivstabostäder.

More info: 

Workshop 2:

People, Culture and the city

October 27 at 2pm

The ’New Urban Agenda’ promotes sustainable cities - ones that are resilient, safe, as well as socially and economically inclusive. Culture can contribute towards making this a reality. One representative from Nairobi, New York and Stockholm will share brief histories of democratic processes and the development of the cultural infrastructure in their city.

White Arkitekter and GoDown arts centre

More info here

Conversation II – Nature & Wellbeing

Anna Sunnerö, Senior Lead Architect at Wingårdhs
Linda Pettersson, Landscape Architect at Urbio
Susanne Ramel, Architect at Marge
Jeff Shumaker, Director of Urban Planning and Design at KPF
James Ramsey, Principal at RAAD Studio
Moderated by: David van der Leer, Executive Director Van Alen Institute at Van Alen Institute, 30 W 22nd St on October 26 at 5pm.

Conversation III – Culture & People  

Joy Mboya, Executive Director at GoDown Arts Centre
Anna Sunnerö, Architect at Wingårdhs
Patrick Verhoeven, Urban Designer at Mandaworks
David Allin, Senior Associate at DS+R
Suchi Reddi, Principal at ReddyMade Architecture & Design
Moderated by:  Rick Bell, Director of Design and Construction Excellence for the DDC at Van Alen Institute, 30 W 22nd St on October 27 at 5pm.

Conversation IV – Innovative solutions  

Ola Jonsson, Associated Partner at CFMoller
Jan Rydén, Färgfabriken
Torleif Falk, City Architect Stockholm city
Thomas Kosbau, Principal Architect at ORE Design
Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, co-founder of No Longer Empty  
Moderated by:  Sander Schuur, Founding Partner of STHLMNYC at Van Alen Institute, 30 W 22nd St on October 28 at 2pm.

CONVERSATION V Art in Public Space

Ola Kalnins, Brian Whiteley and Crosby discussing democratic architecture in terms of art in public spaces. The three artists will have an open conversation on public art in public space.

Followed by the revealing of Ola Kalnins latest piece on the corner of Manhattan Ave and Greenpoint Ave in Brooklyn, an initiative supported by the City of Malmö.

Van Alen Institute, 30 W 22nd St on October 28 at 4pm. At 4:45pm departure to Brooklyn.

Date: October 27
Time: 7pm
Location: Great Jones Studio, 35 Great Jones

Beer will be lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery