A State of Migration: Sweden

Mejan Arc - Architecture, 2014/15
Course on the advanced level, 60 ECTS.

Migration and a sustainable global existence are two of the biggest challenges of our time. How can they be combined? Historically, migration has been a driving force for societal development and urbanisation, but so has the individual’s acceptance of transformation and change of the environment. New places are overlaid with experiences of earlier spaces, anchoring transnational relations in a local history. What kind of city emerges from migration’s transformative dynamics?

Swedish contemporary history is marked by migration in different directions. During the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, almost a quarter of the Swedish population left the impoverished countryside to look for a better future in the United States. The post-war industrial boom and the construction of the Swedish welfare state were heavily reliant on labour migration from Finland, Turkey and south Europe. In the 1970s most migrants to Sweden were political refugees from Latin America, and from the 1980s onwards migration has been characterised by asylum seekers from Iraq, Somalia and today Syria. How have the Swedish city and the planning been developed and affected by the dynamics of migration? Which new spaces and social relationships, rituals and movements, have emerged out of the power field of migration? How is the city formulated and reformulated based on the new inhabitants’ needs, rights and responsibilities?

Resources has, for a number of years, studied urban development and transformation in relation to reduced resources, a changing climate and the idea of the right to the city – with a specific focus

10 year old girl, Sweden. Photo: Mikael Olsson

on the global South. Here, the conditions of the city are renegotiated in the dividing line between economic growth and demographic movement, between global agendas and the local inhabitant’s action and building. To Resources’ final year at the Royal Institute of Art, we bring this knowledge and turn our gaze to the Swedish contemporary city and its characteristics. Resources.14 will explore urban Sweden based on the transformation processes that take place in the city of migration. We call it A Swedish Urbanism.

Find the full course description here.

Find the course schedule here.

Find the course catalogue here.

Radical Shift | Incremental Change: Rio de Janeiro

Mejan Arc, Architecture, 2013/14

Course on advanced level, 60 ECTS

The urban is a process of continuous change. A constant stream of exchanges and restructuring, of negotiations and agreements. Transformation sometimes appears to be aimless and ad hoc, sometimes consciously planned with close and distant goals in mind.

Brazil’s transformation into an urban nation occurred in a late and intense period, from 1960 to 1980. During the 1920s and 1930s Brazil developed its own distinctive form of modernism which reacted against the former colonisers and the rural and conservative environment. However, modernism’s architectural and social exploration and the vision of a Brazilian hybrid identity came to a halt when the military assumed power. Instead, the agricultural nation was transformed into an urban society during a process of rapid industrialisation, which led to chaotic social change and stratification. The political liberation of the 1980s referred back to the radical discussions of the 1960s, and the Brazilian city became a concrete laboratory, against the backdrop of the forces of globalisation.

Resources.13 will explore current urban strategies in Rio de Janeiro and ask the question – How are people's needs and dreams affected by global agendas and motives?

Find the course prospectus here.

Find the Course Catalogue here.

resources 13 resources 13