NORDIC ENCOUNTERS

TRAVELLING IDEAS ABOUT OPEN SPACE DESIGN AND PLANNING

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

June 12 2014 - June 13 2014

For a decade, the World in Denmark conferences have brought prominent interna- tional designers and planners to Copenhagen.

This 10th conference investigates the role of Denmark – or more broadly the Nordic countries – in the world.

Scholars and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts that discuss cultural encounters in open space design and planning.

International key note speakers from landscape architec- ture, urban design and urbanism will reflect on recent interventions in the urban landscape.

 

 

“Super Danish”, “New Nordic”, and “Scandinavian welfare design” are among numerous seductive names that coin planning and architecture practices from the north these years. Drawing on historic recognition of design traditions, the Scandinavian approach has recently experienced a profound revitalisation.

Landscape architects and urban designers from Denmark and the other Nordic countries have increasingly become exporters of design solutions to places like Beijing, New York and Christchurch, while Copenhagen repeatedly re- ceives awards for its liveability. Nordic planning is often promoted as particularly human, ecologically sustainable and democratic.

However, looking beyond the immediate branding effect, what themes and values, methods and challenges are current in Nordic urban space design and planning in these years? Where are the gaps between imaginary and reality?

How does the nordicness relate to what is going on in other regions and cultures and what does it potentially have to offer? Which movements, paradoxes, con- flicts and challenges exist? And how do these current trends reflect traditions of design and placemaking?

The issue goes beyond Denmark and the Nordic countries. It concerns what it means to intervene in cities and landscapes in a global era. What happens when western designers work in places whose local languages are new to them?

How do general ideas about improving cities migrate and mutate, synergize and conflict in the encounter with specific contexts? What are the potentials and loss- es of producing traditions – such as the Danish or Nordic – in open space design and planning?

 

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