OPENing HORIZONS TO the future of industrY

What is the path from ideal communities to sustainable industrial ecosystems? How are megatrends; digitalization, new technologies, urbanization, climate change and the demands of sustainable development changing industrial fabrication and design? The automated factories of the future, operating through networked connections, will be even smarter and run by robots. As buildings the factories are less often meeting places for people, as the work is increasingly carried out virtually and via networks.


Inspiring Industrial Milieu

Factory environments have always inspired art, literature and film. Which kind of environments and architecture does the industrial productions create in the future? On the other hand, what are the possibilities for reuse and regeneration of progressive historical industrial premises? How is renovation carried out following the principles of sustainable development, and for the needs of the future? And not forgetting Alvar Aalto’s concern for the human scale.

Challenges and possibilities

The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry, focuses on the current challenges of the spaces and milieus of the history, present and future manufacturing industry. The main theme will be studied from three specific viewpoints. Reliable partner: a factory building in the city, Responsible action: sustainable industrial milieus and Building identity: The role of industrial architecture in constructing community, recognizability and perceived value.


Providing the introduction for the discussion of industrial construction, urban planning and future visions are the symposium’s keynote speakers: architect Xu Tiantian (DnA_Design and Architecture, China), architect Thomas Bonde-Hansen (Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Denmark), architect, professor Ute Schneider (KCAP architects, the Netherlands, Switzerland and China), and architect Tuomas Kivinen (Virkkunen & Co, Finland). Beniamino de Liguori Carino, secretary general of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation, and architect Pippo Ciorra of the MAXXI MUSEUM will be bringing their greetings from Italy.

The future prospects of the forest industry will be discussed by Sebastián Hernández Maetschl, Manager for Building Concepts for Building Solutions and Ville Hietalahti, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management and Real Estate Finland, both at Stora Enso (Germany and Finland). Architect Charlotte Skene Catling (Skene Catling de la Peña, UK) and Adam Lowe, Professor at Columbia University (USA) and founder of the Factum Foundation (Spain) will talk about the AALTOSIILO art project, which is being realized in the former industrial area of Toppila in Oulu in a silo building designed by Alvar Aalto in 1931. The symposium moderators are architect Antti Ahlava from Aalto University and chairman of Docomomo Suomi Finland Petteri Kummala from the Finnish Museum of Architecture. More top speakers and programme details will be announced during the spring.



Symposium will be this year a hybrid event, onsite in Jyväskylä, Finland and virtual for audiences all around the world. The onsite venue will be the traditional main building of the University of Jyväskylä (Alvar Aalto 1955). The 2-day programme includes besides speeches and conversations, architectural excursions, exhibitions and various public events. Speeches will be held in English. Part of the additional programme will be in Finnish.The event is organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy together with the City of Jyväskylä and several other partners. We keep monitoring the Covid-19 recommendations and restrictions. Changes possible.

Further information

Nina Heikkonen, Programme Manager
Alvar Aalto Foundation
+358 44 500 1257

Aila Svenskberg, Communications, PRESS
Alvar Aalto Foundation
+358 40 659 1930



Sunila (Alvar Aalto 1936-54), factory, detail, photo Alvar Aalto Foundation / Maija Holma
Kantola, Mill manager’s residence (Alvar Aalto 1936-37), living room, detail, photo Alvar Aalto Foundation / Maija Holma
Rantala, Engineers’ Row House (Alvar Aalto 1936-52), drawing, scale 1:1500, Alvar Aalto Foundation / AAA 81-60

Early bird -prices until 30.6.2021

Book your tickets now!