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What is the role of architecture and design amidst environmental crises, catastrophes and political upheaval? How much does architecture weigh when the future of the entire planet is at stake?

The 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium – The Weight of Architecture,, Jyväskylä, focuses on topical environmental issues and the “weight” or responsibility of architecture and the impact of design during the ongoing era of extremes. The chosen theme has emerged from current global problems, such as climate change and extreme weather conditions, the loss of biodiversity and the political, financial, and societal changes in our society.

The overall theme will be discussed under three specific subthemes:
1. ENVIRONMENT: global crises, human and other species sharing the same planet, adaptation, and compensation. 2. RESOURCES: material resources, data, AI. 3. ARCHITECTURE: tools and solutions, new horizons, the weight of architecture.

Some of the first 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium keynote speakers: Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architects and the founding members of Grafton Architects based in Dublin; Helena Mattsson, Professor of history and theory of architecture at KTH School of Architecture in Stockholm, and John Schellnhuber, Director General, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Laxenburg, Vienna. More speakers will be announced soon.

The 15th Alvar Aalto Medal will be awarded during the symposium. An exhibition by the new medallist will be on display at the Aalto2 Museum Centre until the end of 2024. This internationally prestigious architecture prize is awarded jointly by the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum, the Finnish Architectural Society, the Finnish Association of Architects, and the City of Helsinki.

The 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium 22.–23.8.2024 is a hybrid event, onsite in Jyväskylä, Finland, and virtual for a large international audience around the world. The traditional onsite venue is the main building of the University of Jyväskylä (Alvar Aalto, 1955). The versatile 2-day programme (language English) includes the seminar together with side programmes, such as architectural excursions, exhibitions and various public events. Please note that there is only limited availability for the tickets to the architectural excursions. For further information and ticket sales:

The Alvar Aalto Symposium is an international discussion forum held every three years for contemporary architecture and environmental issues. The aim is to stimulate critical, problem-solving and future-looking discussion on topical environmental, social, artistic and technical challenges facing society. The Alvar Aalto Symposium invites architects, designers, researchers, teachers, students, the general public and media – at large all those interested in topical environmental and design issues.

The 2-day event with side programme is organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy together with the City of Jyväskylä and other partners. The Alvar Aalto Academy fosters training, research and events on modern architecture and design in Finland and abroad. The Alvar Aalto Academy is a part of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, which preserves and maintains Architect Alvar Aalto’s legacy. Read more about the activities and operational methods of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Join us! The 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium ticket shop is now open here.

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

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


Alvar Aalto Symposium 2024, graphic design © Ilkka Kärkkäinen.