|Dates / Deadlines:|
|GPA Requirement:||2.0||Field of Study:||Architecture|
|Language of Instruction:||English||Class Standing:||Junior, Senior|
|Language Prerequisite:||None||Course Prerequisite:||see program description|
|Program Type:||Faculty-led||Open to non-UTK Students:||Yes|
This 15 credit hours summer abroad program in Finland focuses on the role of architecture and design within the broader context of the the Finnish national cultural identity. In the design disciplines of Finland, the constants of cultural identity – minimalism, pragmatism and an ecological conscience -- frame specific material and formal responses to the interrelationships between the Finnish landscape and its architectural spaces. These responses are highly specific and are deeply rooted in a wide variety of intuitive and unselfconscious artistic expressions.
While the curriculum of the program has its focus on the architectural and spatial, it would be impossible to examine this particular architecture without a wider exploration and exposure to Finnish culture and its unique traditions. Ironically, the national history of Finland begins with the Russian revolution and Finnish independence in 1917. Finland is that rare historical artifact – a nation defined by the advent and evolution of the Modern movement in art and culture. This specific context has had a profound impact on all of the allied design arts-- from extraordinary work in wood, glass, and ceramics -- to furniture, textiles and fabrics, as well as the performing arts. All of these alliances of the arts culminate In Finnish architecture. Finland remains one of a handful of countries that retains an extraordinary sense of craft within the contemporary framework of modern processes of industrialization and prefabrication.
This broader frame for an alternative design education is explored through an in-depth investigation of the work of Finland’s architects. The full range of representational techniques and design methodologies are explored with both American and Finnish faculty through drawing, photography, physical and digital modeling. Design is understood as integral to all aspects of the program, from original work examining undocumented works by significant Finnish architects to design competitions sponsored by the Society of Finnish Architects. Each activity, event, or assignment is intended to expose students to the depth of another culture, and revels in each student’s experience of cultural assimilation. This program provides a platform for learning by and through the direct experiences of the student, and an understanding of the both ourselves and the Finns as storytellers through the art and craft of
The coursework for the program totals 15 credit hours -- a full semester of course credit, which includes the traditional six credit hour design studio, as well as three 3-credit hour Professional Elective courses. The studio and documentation coursework will be UTK Credit (ARC 493: Design Studio and ARC 425/525: Documentation and Representation II: Contemporary Finnish Architecture respectively) with the final six credit hours being granted by the Aalto University in Helsinki.
The program is structured in two separate sessions with a brief release for student free travel between the two sessions. The first session is structured around fieldwork and subsequent studio work developing full documentation of the three or more summer cottages of these architects. Such structures are intensely personal projects and students are presented with truly unique opportunities to engage in the investigation of the architectural design process derived from these works. The work done for each of the three 3-credit hour courses is developed in concert with one another. Two Finnish faculty, Jari and Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen will instruct students during the first session in concert with the Program Director.
The end result of the first session – in written, drawn and modeled form – is evaluated by the Director and Curatorial Staff of the Museum of Finnish Architecture for inclusion in the museum’s permanent collection. Currently nine of the projects from previous years are touring in a major traveling exhibition of these unique artifacts of Finnish architecture.
During the second session students will take a 6 credit hour design studio in their respective discipline. The studio will be taught as a vertical studio with projects ranging from intermediate to advanced complexity. The studio uses the traditional format of program to design précis investigated with physical and graphic investigation. Previous projects have been at a range of scales from tightly programmed urban information centers to elementary schools in new suburbs of Helsinki. The focus of this work is to work toward an integration of the architecture and culture of Finland with a broader understanding of the global forces at work in contemporary architecture.
See the following sites for the excellent recent student work from the 2012 program: http://finlandutcoad2012.tumblr.com
Students will stay in doubles rooms in the Domus Academia student residence hall in Helsinki and in hostels during excursions.
Scott W. Wall
Phone: (865) 974-5265