Topic outline

  • ARK-E2011 Interplay of Cultures Studio (12 cr)

    Interplay of Cultures studio focuses on the thematic area of Global Sustainability and Cultural Locality, encompassing all scales of architectural design. It is a cross-cutting studio, which can be accepted as a studio course either in building design, housing or urban planning.

     This year, the Interplay of Cultures studio will focus on Sámi culture in the northern Lapland. The aim is to learn about the features of a foreign culture, and to enhance understanding of the living environment and conditions of indigenous northern cultures.

    The course includes visiting lectures, readings and analysis tasks on indigenous cultures. The design tasks are outlined in collaboration with the Siida museum and representatives of the Sámi communities in Inari, northern Finland. The focus of the course is on sustainable design solutions and culturally knowledgeable architecture.

    The course includes studies on local building traditions and materials, as well as social, economic and climatic characteristics of the local culture. The course aims at providing the students with a wider perspective and understanding of the processes of the architectural practice when working in various cultural contexts. It also aims at developing the students’ value system and sense of responsibility. 


    The studio is conducted online via zoom. Language of the course is English.

    Join Zoom Meeting:

    Meeting ID: 662 9490 8044

    Passcode: 364795


    Cape Town University collaboration:

    Interplay of Cultures studio will run partly parallel with Cape Town University’s Living Landscape Project, which looks into the San people and culture in South Africa. Collaboration includes partly shared contents and analysis of the two cultures San / Sámi.

    Timetable: Studio teaching takes place on Thursdays 13-17, period III-V, spring 2021.

    Prerequisites: A Bachelor’s Degree is a prerequisite for the course.


    Applying for the Course: The studio is open to Master’s Program students in architecture & landscape architecture, as well as students from Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme. Maximum number of students accepted is 20. Please enroll via the department’s online system.



    Saija Hollmén, architect, D.Sc. (Arch), Professor of Practice in Humanitarian Architecture

    Maiju Suomi, architect, University Teacher

    Taru Niskanen, architect, M.Sc. (Arch & Chemistry)


    For more information, please contact: Maiju Suomi,  or Saija Hollmén,

    Course Schedule

    14.1. 1st meeting:

    Getting to know each other

    Introductory lecture by prof. Saija Hollmen

    Course schedule and practicalities 

    Assignment for thematic studies on Sámi culture

    Students and teachers present themselves pecha kucha style 

    Student groups meet and get organized

    21.1. 2nd meeting: 


    Sámi Culture and history by prof. Veli-Pekka Lehtola

    Sámi Building Tradition by architect Marko Huttunen


    Tutoring for the group presentations (groups 1-3)


    28.1. 3rd meeting:


    Sámi Landscape by Leena Valkeapää


    Recourse map and teamwork first-aid-kit


    4.2. 4th meeting:

    Student presentations on the following themes:

    Group 1: Sámi culture represented in the arts in the past

    Group 2: Sámi culture represented in the contemporary arts today

    Group 4: Handicrafts in Sámi culture

    Assignment for studio project proposals and gathering background information for them

    11.2. 5th meeting:


    Themes of colonization, ownership and appropriation Collection of Sámi artifacts being restored to Siida Museum’s collection from the National Museum by Eeva Kristiina Harlin & Áile Aikio


    Tutoring for the group presentations (groups 4+5)

    Tutoring for studio project proposals (groups 6+7)


    18.2. 6th meeting:


    Themes of colonization, ownership and appropriation by prof. Panu Savolainen and prof. Anu Soikkeli


    Tutoring for the group presentations (groups 6+7)

    Tutoring for studio project proposals (groups 4+5)


    25.2. 7th meeting

    Tutoring for studio project proposals (groups 1-3)

    4.3. 8th meeting

    Student presentations on the course themes:

    Group 4: Sámi Culture and history

    Group 5: Sámi Building Tradition

    Group 6: Sámi Landscape

    Group 7: Themes of colonization, ownership and appropriation

    5.3. extra meeting at 12-14

    Questions and answers with Eija Ojanlatva from Siida museum

    Conceptual design

    11.3. 9th meeting: Student presentations on studio project proposals and analysis of background information

    18.3. 10th meeting: Riitta Lönnström, planning director from the Regional Council of Lapland Q&A & Tutoring

    25.3. 11th meeting: well-being check and Teamwork reflection & Tutoring

    Test Project

    1.4. break from tutoring / return deadline for reflection essays

    8.4. 12th meeting: Lecture by the designers of Sajos & Tutoring

    15.4. 13th meeting: mid-review


    Project Development

    22.4. 14th meeting: Tutoring with visiting teachers architect Marko Huttunen, landscape architect Matleena Muhonen and Jari Ketola, engineer (heating, water and ventilation) + late return deadline for essays

    29.4. 15th meeting: resourse map and teamwork feedback

    6.5. 16th meeting: Tutoring and essay feedback


    Final Material for publication and possible exhibition

    20.5. 17th meeting: final review of studio projects

    27.5. 18th meeting: all material finished

    Publication ready by the end of May