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The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry virtual event platform and all the symposium presentations are now available for viewing until 15.10.2021. If you were unable to attend the symposium held in August, you now have the opportunity to view all the recordings as well as additional material.

Read more and register now.

The feedback we have received so far on the virtual 15th Alvar Aalto Symposium, held on 12.-13.8.2021, has been positive and enthusiastic. There were in total 26 speakers at the event, from Europe to Australia and the USA. The livestreams were followed from 21 countries on 6 continents around the world. The Alvar Aalto Symposium continues to achieve its objective to be an international, topical and open platform for discussion on contemporary architecture.

The now available virtual 15th Alvar Aalto Symposium honours the meritorious line of symposiums that first began in 1979. Lively interviews with some of the earlier key organizers, architects Gunnel Adlercreutz, Aki Davidsson and Esa Laaksonen, offer both valuable glimpses of and new information about the activities of the Alvar Aalto Symposium over the years. The film of the interviews was produced by artist Mira Caselius.

Also on the platform, architect, Professor Juhani Pallasmaa (Finland) moderates the memorable panel discussion with architects Sean Godsell (Australia), Peter MacKeith (USA), Esa Laaksonen (Finland), Alberto Pérez Gómez (Canada), Sami Rintala (Finland) and historian, critic and artist William J.R. Curtis (U.K) that considers how the Alvar Aalto Symposiums have anticipated future developments in architecture, as well as reflecting the architectural debates of their time.

The first Alvar Aalto Symposium was held in Jyväskylä in 1979, with more than 400 participants from 14 different countries. Internationality and the artistic, social and technical potential of modern architecture have from the beginning been central themes of the symposiums. Star speakers in the sciences and arts, from Kenneth Frampton to Georg Henrik von Wright and Kaija Saariaho, as well designers, both domestic and international stars of architecture, such as Alvaro Siza, Charles Correa, Herman Hertzberger, Kazuyo Sejima, Gert Wingårdh and Shigeru Ban, just to name a few, have already made the symposium an established live event in Jyväskylä. More material will be updated in the future on the website

Besides honouring its past history, the 15th International Alvar Alvar Symposium focused particularly on the future. What issues are being talked now in architecture and urban planning? How do we envisage the pleasant Smart City or the future factory of tomorrow? Issues relating to industrial construction, urban planning and future visions are pondered by architect Xu Tiantian (DnA_Design and Architecture, China), architect Thomas Bonde-Hansen (Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Denmark), architect, Professor Ute Schneider (KCAP Architects&Planners, Rotterdam/Zürich/Shanghai), and architect Tuomas Kivinen (Virkkunen & Co, Finland). Building Development Manager Sebastián Hernández Maetschl of Stora Enso’s Wood Products division, and Senior Vice President of Stora Enso’s Enterprise Risk Management and Real Estate Finland Ville Hietalahti open future visions of the forest industry in their presentations. Designer Pirjo Kääriäinen, Associate Professor in Design and Materialities at Aalto University, tells about the biomaterial innovation boom in Finland.

Buit heritage and renovation are increasingly important and topical issues

Architect Charlotte Skene Catling (Skene Catling de la Peña, UK) and Adam Lowe, adjunct professor at Columbia University (USA) and founder of the Factum Foundation (Spain) open their future plans about the research centre for industrial heritage which is being realised in the Aalto-designed silo building in Toppila in Oulu dating from 1931. Building researcher Samuli Paitsola talks about the works of Alvar Aalto and Aarne Ervi along the Oulujoki river. The hydropower cultural heritage project VekuVaku has mapped the hydropower plants along the Oulujoki and the Luleå rivers and their communities.

Dare to dream and envision the future!

Beniamino de Liguori Carino, secretary general of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation, and architect Pippo Ciorra of the MAXXI MUSEUM open the visionary success story of Adriano Olivetti’s company. Antti Alanen, film programmer at the National Audiovisual Institute KAVI, tells an enchanting story about Charlie Chaplin and a film aficionado who later became the chairman of the first Finnish film club called Projektio – architect Alvar Aalto.

The symposium live broadcast moderators and closing panel discussers were architect Professor Antti Ahlava from the Department of Architecture at Aalto University, Petteri Kummala PhD, from the Finnish Museum of Architecture and chairman of Docomomo Suomi Finland, and architect Tommi Lindh, CEO of Alvar Aalto Foundation.

The triennial event is organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy in cooperation with the City of Jyväskylä and other partners.

To the tickets (all event recordings and additional material available until 15.10.2021)
Student 10 € / Other 44€

Please take a moment to answer the attached questionnaire. 
Your feedback on the virtual 15th Alvar Aalto Symposium is most welcome and greatly appreciated!


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

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

Photo: Alvar Aalto Art Posters at the the main building of the University of Jyväskylä (1954-55). Photo Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.