Nordic collaboration for a sustainable future

June 22nd, 2023
Drangar guesthouse by Studio Granda, winner of the Icelandic Design Awards 2020 for, among other things, being an important example and set the standard for an increased number of buildings, not the least in the rural areas, that call for redefinition and reconstruction due to age and new and changed roles.

Iceland design and architecture in collaboration with their Nordic partners are strengthening their relationship with the goal of deepening the understanding about the disciplines and how they can contribute to green transition and sustainable value creation, in the Nordic countries and internationally. The Nordic collaboration will be officially announced at the UIA, world congress of architects in Copenhagen in July. 

A uniting platform achieves greater and more targeted results

The common goal of the collaboration is that Nordic politicians and decision-makers will gain a deeper understanding about the important role of design and architecture in the green transition, in a way that benefits both the business and the public sector. 

“We are a large group of people in the Nordic countries who work in the broad field of design and architecture. We all have the same goal, to share knowledge of the methods and approaches involved in design and architecture and to promote these disciplines for the benefit of our communities. By uniting on one platform, we can achieve greater and more targeted results, share knowledge and tools internally, expand the projects and acquire a stronger voice in policy making and in the political and business world.“
Halla Helgadóttir, managing director of Iceland design and architecture

The idea for the network arose when the Norwegian minister of business Jan Christian Vestre and the Icelandic minister of culture and business, Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir met in Oslo 2022. They will both be at the UIA, world congress of architects in the beginning of July to formally announce the collaboration between the Nordic countries in design and architecture. Also participating is the state Secretary to the Swedish minister of culture, Karin Sjöwall. 

"Design and architecture are important driving forces for sustainable development, green transition and value creation, both with regard to the increased competitiveness and potential of Nordic companies, and for cities and communities. This new platform unites the forces of professionals in the Nordic countries working to promote design disciplines, and will share knowledge, methods and results in a more targeted way. I hope that the cooperation will unleash great creative forces and spread the word of Nordic design even more widely than before," says Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, minister of Culture and Business.

Next steps will be to map the existing ecosystem for design and architecture, as well as concretize a common vision and direction with associated activities.

The following actors are behind the Nordic initiative:

  • Dansk Design Center (DDC), Denmark
  • Dansk Arkitektur Center (DAC), Denmark
  • ArkDes, Sweden
  • Archinfo, Finland
  • Design Forum Finland, Finland
  • Iceland Design and Architecture, Iceland
  • DOGA, Norway

These institutions are also participating: Form/Design Center, Sveriges Arkitekter, SVID, Svensk Form, SAFA, Designinfo, Arkitektforbundet, NAL, Arkitektforeningen and Dansk Designråd.

About UIA congress:
The International Union of Architects UIA organizes every three years a World Congress of Architects. The World Congress in 2023 will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Nordic Section of the UIA (which is composed of Denmark, Finland, The Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) won the 2023 bid and it is the first time it is held in a Nordic country.

June 22nd, 2023
Álfrún Pálsdóttir


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