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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? 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.

The 15th Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry held in Jyväskylä on brings together top international speakers and the general public to discuss current architectural themes. The main venue for the two-day hybrid event is the Main Building of the University of Jyväskylä. The key themes of the symposium are: Reliable partner – industrial buildings in urban environments; Responsible action – industrial construction for sustainable development; and Building identity – the role of industrial architecture in regional planning. The seminar programme also includes urban art experiences in summertime Jyväskylä and tours of factory environments.


The Alvar Aalto Symposium 2021 programme and registration are now open online. 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 Ute Schneider (KCAP architects, the Netherlands, Switzerland and China), and architect Tuomas Kivinen (Virkkunen & Co, Finland). Beniamino de Liguori, secretary general of the Carino 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.
For more information, see:

Alvar Aalto Symposium is an international forum for discussion on contemporary architecture. It is a triennial event, that brings professionals from around the world together to engage in current topics in architecture. The aim is to raise critical discussion about the artistic, social and technical challenges of contemporary architecture. The event is mainly in English, the additional programme partly in Finnish. The event is organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy together with the City of Jyväskylä and several other partners.

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

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


1. Wooden Tofu factory (2018), Village of Caizhai in Songyang (Zhejiang province), China. Architect Xu Tiantian, DnA_Design and Architecture, Beijing China. Photo Wang Ziling.

2. The Red Apple, mixed-use complex with apartments, offices, retail and restaurants (2002-2009), Wijnhaveineland, Rotterdam, KCAP ©Michel Kievits.

3. Värtan Bioenergy CHP Plant-17, energy plant at Stockholm, Gottlieb Paludan Architects, UD Urban Design AB. Photo©Robin Hayes.