ASF Award "Learning South of North" in Barcelona

ASF Award "Learning South of North" in Barcelona:
Using architecture and design to benefit the most vulnerable sectors of the world's population

Punto de encuentro, Salón de Actos Escola Massana. Centro d’Art i Disseny.
Dirección: Calle Hospital 56. Barcelona,

● Inscripción: 9,00 a 9,30 h
● Café: 9.30 h
● Presentación: 10.00 h
● Debate: 10.30 h
● Cierre: 11.00 h

Intervienen: Inari Virkkala NGO Ukumbi, Finlandia y Henry Cardona, ASF Suecia.
Bienvenida: Pep Dardanyà. Cap de l'Àrea de Relacions Exteriors i Acció Cultural Escola Massana Centre d’Art i Disseny.
Presenta: Susana Aparicio Ortiz. España ReciclyngArt.Org (En creación, anteriormente ReciclaMadrid) y Co-Fundadora ARC Peace Iberoamérica.
Exposición en Sala: Proyectos premiados por ASF International, 2015.

On the occasion of the celebration in Barcelona of the meeting of the board of Architecture Sans Frontières International a breakfast meeting will be held on Monday October 26 in the hall of the Escola Massana Centre d 'Art and Design to highligh the awards "ASF Award 2015: Learning South of North", granted by ASF-Int in collaboration with the Nordic Network South of North. Access is free and professionals, students, institutions and individuals interested in social housing and sustainable development are most welcome to join!

The desire to use architecture and design to enhance sustainability has increased exponentially in the past four decades. Expanding the scope of practice to include not only the physical buildings but social progress and the environment - both locally and globally, pledging to promote ecological and social sustainability worldwide, with special attention to the sectors of the most vulnerable populations, and involving related sectors as surveyors, social workers, sociologists, social educators, designers, organizations and associations and people from many other professions. 

The bi-annual ASF Award was given out for the first time in conjunction with the ASF General Assembly in Kathmandu in June 2015. The Award was supprted by the Nordic project "South of North", born in 2013 on the initiative of architects and current coordinators from Asante and ASF Sweden (Pilvi Vanamo) and Ukumbi in Finland (Inari Virkkala), which promoted collaboration between Nordic architects working in the nonprofit sector in developing environments.



South of North Exhibition and workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico

South of North projects were recently exhibited in Guadalajara, Mexico. Elina Tenho and Noora Aaltonen from Komitu Architects represented South of North in Guadalaraja and organized a student workshop to build a test wall of plastic bottles.

The exhibition pavilion in Guadalaraja was designed and built by Mexican architecture students Guillermo Pineda, Octavio Torres, Alejandro Diaz and their team. It was built using local ecological materials; wood, reed and straw. It will continue its life as a community house after the exhibition.

The South of North exhibition in Guadalaraja is organized together with Take the winter coat off – an exhibition of thirteen young designers from Aalto University whose unique pieces were inspired by Mexican culture.  The exhibition is organized by Sara Pereyra and Luis Manuel Ochoa.

South of North in Mexico / Take the Winter Coat Off
Gallery Kukuruchos
Avenida Adolfo López Mateos Sur
2040A Chapalita Sur
45040 Zapopan



ASF Award "Learning South of North" Exhibition & Award Ceremony organized in Kathmandu

To extend the impact and network, South of North teamed up together with the global organisation Architecture Sans Frontières International (ASF Int.) to give out an award, this time with the theme "Learning South of North".

As the South of North network itself, ASF Int Award was founded in the purpose of sharing the most efficient solutions developed by architects globally to the many social, environmental and economic challenges facing the built environment. The goal of the award is to promote those solutions among the design profession and the general public, which will encourage an exchange of ideas and challenge the profession to develop the construction of social facilities and infrastructure for the benefit of the most vulnerable sectors of the world’s population.

On Thursday, June 18, the 2015 Prizes were awarded at ASF Award Ceremony & Discussion "Learning South of North" in Lalitpur, Nepal.

There were feature presentations by:

  • Sahjabin Kabir, Tanzia Islam - "Deyalkotha"
  • Guruprasad Rane, ASF India - "Activity Center for Chilla"
  • Beatrice de Carli, ASF UK - "Change by Design"

And a panel discussion "Learning South of North" supported by Inari Virkkala, Ukumbi Finland and Rune Asholt Arkitekter Uden Grænser Denmark. Warm thanks also for Anna Synderå from ASF Sweden for the support with the event!

See and download all the proposals to the ASF Award here:



SoN Exhibition opens in Guadalajara 29.9.2015!

Un diálogo acerca de la arquitectura y el cambio sustentable, una colaboración sin fines de lucro entre arquitectos Nórdicos trabajando en países en desarrollo. Actualmente activa como exposición y seminarios.

“South of North” - Exposición Itinerante
La exposición presenta el trabajo de 12 estudios jóvenes nórdicos, los cuales han desarrollado proyectos en países en desarrollo.

La exposición ofrece una perspectiva Nórdica hacia un fenómeno que esta creciendo globalmente: estudios de arquitectura emergentes comprometidos con problemas globales relacionados a la ecología y a la sustentabilidad social.
Es acerca del rol que juega la arquitectura en los países en desarrollo y la lucha para construir un futuro sustentable, la comunicación y la valoración de la practica de la arquitectura y el significado del espacio así como la estética en este.

El contenido es presentado en 5 categorías:
+Que es South of North
+La arquitectura como un diálogo
+Construir también es un verbo
+Impacto y valoración
+Arquitectura, espacio y belleza

El pabellón en Guadalajara es desarrollado como una colaboración entre Noora Aaltonen y Elina Tenho de Kumito Arquitectos y un grupo de estudiantes de arquitectura de la UdeG liderados por Guillermo Pineda, Alejandro Díaz y Octavio Torres. Este pabellón estará construido completamente con materiales naturales regionales que reflejan los principios de diseño de South of North.
Al concluir la exposición, el pabellón será donado a zonas de bajos recursos.

Gestión y coordinación: Sara Pereyra / Luis Manuel Ochoa

See more info in the facebook -event.



South of North goes Mexico!

South of North Exhibition in Guadalaraja is exhibited together with thirteen young designers from Aalto University whose unique pieces were inspired by Mexican culture. Exhibition is organized by Sara Pereyra.

Guadalaraja  29.9-15.10.2015
Place:     Gallery Kukuruchos
Avenida Adolfo López Mateos Sur 2040A
Chapalita Sur
45040 Zapopan



Luovimmat suomalaiset

South of North was invited to take part in a video series of ”the most creative Finnish” start ups and communities for the SLUSH conference taking place in Helsinki in November. Watch the video with Inari, Elina and Noora discussing South of North and the Kouk Khleang Youth Center at



South of North Mouthful of Meetings at 14th International Architecture Exhibition

Mouthful of Meetings was arranged 19th of September at La Biennale in Venice, in the beautiful and athmospherical Corderie dell'Arsenale. Commissioned by the Norwegian National Museum of Architecture, the event added a contemporary layer to the Nordic Pavilion exhibition 2014, “Forms of Freedom. African Independency and Nordic Models”.  A Virtual Dinner worth the name, the discussion was also live streamed publicly to reach audience outside the Arsenale walls.

The event brought together 8 Nordic and African based panelists, with a background both in the academic world and as practizing architects. The debate was moderated by Andres Lepik, the Director of TU München's Architecture Museum and Justine Bell, a South-African architect based in Denmark. The discussion revolved around questions of African identity in an architectural and a global context, the role of the foreign and local architect and the emerging urbanism and informal architecture in many African cities. The event was rounded up with an informal dinner that gave the possibility for the participants and the audience to continue the discussion after the panel debate.

All in all, a great panel with professionals with varying backgrounds created a lively discussion that could have continued longer. The original idea of extending the South of North dialogues and building up an international network has certainly succeeded beyond expectations, to the extent that the next meeting already was preliminarily booked to Cape Town.

Our warmest thanks to all the participants and supporters: La Biennale, Nina Berre, Nina Frang Høyum, Andres Lepik, Justine Bell, Mokena Makeka, Peter Makachia, Maxwell Mutanda, Viktoria Walldin, Ina B. Sem-Olsen, Helena Sandman, Tomá Berlanda, Daniel Baumann, Inari Virkkala, Pilvi Vanamo, Anna Autio, Max Lönnqvist, Frida Vang Petersen, Tyra Dokkedahl, Rune Asholt, Carolina Wikström, Frida Öster, Annika Järvelin, Lauri Kerola and everyone that has been involved during the planning or execution.

Photos by Anna Autio.




South of North Exhibition in Helsinki

The South of North Exhibition in Helsinki was a great success! The official part of Helsinki Design Week has now officially ended, but the pavillion and the panels can still be seen in Teurastamo. Here are some wonderful photos of the exhibition by photographer Anna Autio. Go and have a look if you didn't see it yet!

Warm thanks to everyone involved in putting the exhibition together! Especially Pilvi Vanamo, Inari Virkkala, Frida Boström, Lauri Kerola, Annika Järvelin, Elina Tenho, Noora Aaltonen, Hildur Ísdal Þorgeirsdóttir, Max Lönnqvist, Christian Daschek, Jaakko Pennanen, Elina Bry, Camille Poureau, Sisko Hovila, Jaakko Laurila, Joni Jalonen, Tommi Tapana, Veikko Westerlund, Reetta Turtiainen, Kari Korkman, HeiHei, Martta Louekari and Anna-Kaisa Mero from Sweco!

Few stories of the exhibition in the press:

"Arkkitehtuuria kehittyville maille" MTV3 Huomenta Suomi 10.9.2014

"Arkkitehdit auttajina" Kirkko ja Kaupunki 08.09.2014 05.09.2014



South of North seminar “Mouthful of Meetings” at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014

The event is a collaboration between the South of North network and the Norwegian Nasjonalmuseet curator team for the Nordic Pavillion in Venice Biennale 2014. It adds a contemporary layer to the Nordic Pavilion exhibition 2014, ”Forms of Feedom. African Independence and Nordic Models”. The event will take place in Venice 19th of September.

”Mouthful of meetings” is a moderated conversation focusing on socioeconomic sustainability in current and future development collaboration. The event brings together contemporary Nordic and African architecture practices and institutions with focus on socially committed architecture.

The questions arising from the challenges of the current and future collaboration will form the base of the discussion. How to enable an honest communication between all stakeholders in order to create an open dialogue for evaluation? What kind of architectural qualities are going to be relevant in the next 20 years?  An article of the event was recently featured in the Norwegian webpublication Arkitektnytt .



South of North Designers on Site 6.9.2014

Come and meet the Nordic Designers on site on Saturday 6.9.! The event will start with project presentations from Gyaw Gyaw (Norway-Thailand), Komitu Architects (Finland), Asante Architecture and Design (Sweden) and Rå Arkitektur (Norway).

The event is part of the Social Innovators Connected -conference and Open House Helsinki



South of North Stockholm Exhibition Workshop

South of North exhibition workshop in Stockholm went well 2.-4.5.2014. The open presentations on Saturday night gathered a great crowd and the exhibition design was brough fruitfully forward, especially in the workshops with our graphic designers Annika Järvelin and Lauri Kerola.



South of North Workshop in Oslo and Trondheim

The 4th seminar was arranged between 21st – 25th of March 2014 in Oslo and Tronheim. As a contrast to the previous seminars with a public lecture profile, the focus was on the practical build-design methods that the participating teams are often applying  during field work. The first plart of the event consisted of an  internal planning workshop for the coming South of North exhibition. The workshop was held  at Various Architects, an Oslo based architecture office.  The second part included a visit to a build-design workshop for the master students at NTNU Architectural Design, Form and Colour studies, led by Sami Rintala and Gro Rødne.

The exhibition workshop was prepared by collecting exhibition material from all the participating groups before the seminar. During the first workshop day the focus lay on  categorizing and analyzing the collected material, and forming the key definitions for each category. The second day was devoted to discussions on the 3-dimensional design and materiality of the exhibition design. The outcome of the workshop creates a stable foundation for the coming development work during the spring.

The workshop at NTNU was organized as a part of the ongoing master course with focus on creating a Transformative Learning Space, a concept based on a current research on sustainable development education. The goal of the course is to introduce the participating students to methods of learning by doing and to a real project situation with intensive skills learning on communication, decision making, construction and documenting. Together with Ph.D Krishna Bharathi, the participating South of North members gave an introduction to the framework of sustainability in planning and architecture on a theoretical and practical level. The actual design task, a physical transformation of the students working environment, will be implemented within a few weeks after an internal design competition. An update of the outcome of the workshop will follow.



Copenhagen Seminar sum-up

The third South of North seminar was held in Copenhagen between 7th – 9th of February 2014. The seminar with the theme “Scandinavian Architects Abroad – Practices and Strategies in Developing Architeture” was hosted by Architecture Sans Frontiéres Denmark and offered a range of activities, including a public seminar in the renowned Arkitekternes Hus in Christianshavn, the launching of brand new book Developing Architecture – Learning From Sierra Leone  and an exhibition opening inLeth & Gori, a combined office and exhibition space.

The seminar offered several perspectives to the challenges of development co-operation and the role of the architect in a foreign context. Several guest speakers contributed by sharing their experiences during the lectures and the panel discussion moderated by South-African architect Justine Bell. Jakob Knudsen, representing the experience and know-how of the older generation of architects working with development co-operation, David Garcia, engaged with projects in challenging environments and cross-disciplinary collaboration with the scientific community, and the Product Development Group of the Engineers Without Borders gave fascinating introductions to their architectural practices, methodolody and past and current projects.

Besides the public lecture day, the seminar also included two days of internal workshops, focusing on conretizing the South of North network collaboration and planning for the coming exhibition tour. Much of the discussions revolved around the strategic and structural design for the exhibition concept. The goal is to create a flexible and transportable exhibition structure that can be used to present the different aspects of the South of North collaboration. The exhibition will be designed and produced as a collaboration between the different participating teams, and several production workshops have already been booked for the coming spring, the next one taking place in Oslo/Trondheim already 22th – 26th of March.




Seminar, book launch and an exhibition opening in Copenhagen

Save the date!

The coming South of North Seminar in Copenhagen will be hosted by Architecture Sans Frontiéres Denmark. The seminar will be held in Copenhagen from Friday the 7th until Sunday the 9th of February 2014.

The program will start with a public seminar on Friday the 7th at Arkitekternes Hus, Strandgade 27 A, Copenhagen K.


The seminar program:

Architecture Sans Frontiéres / Denmark

Komitu Architects / Finland

Asante Collective / Sweden

Jakob Knudsen, Ingvartsen Arkitekter / Denmark

Product Development Group, Engineers Without Borders / Denmark

David Garcia, MAP Architects / Denmark

Open discussion

Moderator Justine Bell / South Africa

After the seminar the evening continues with a public exhibition opening and a book launch at Leth og Gori, Absalonsgade 21 B 1658 Copenhagen V.

Program for Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th consisted of internal workshops.

For questions regarding the Copenhagen seminar please contact: Frida Vang Petersen:, Tyra Dokkedahl: or Pilvi Vanamo:

Inari and Pilvi together with the other Komitu Architects wrote a story of the Helsinki Seminar in Arkkitehtiuutiset 11/2013. Warm thanks to SAFA for their support to the project!



A summary of Reykjavik seminar

South of North Iceland seminar was arranged in the wintery Reykjavik 13.-15.11.2013. The seminar consisted of three parts: An internal workshop at the inspiring landscape of Húsafell, a public lecture day and a workshop with the faculty of architecture in Iceland Academy of the Arts. The seminar was introduced to a wider public through a radio interview on RÙV, the Icelandic national broadcasting channel.

Five of eleven South of North-teams presented their work at the development field at the Alvar Aalto-designed Nordic House in central Reykjavik.  As the aim of the seminar was to  create discussion on how to initiate and implement socially and ecologically sustainable design projects in the Nordic context,  two Icelandic guest lecturers were also invited to participate. Hannes Lárusson, one of the leading performance artists in Iceland, and Halldór Eiríksson, an architect and a teacher at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, presented their perspective on traditional construction techniques and sustainability in the Icelandic context.

In collaboration with Eiríksson, the South of North participants held a one-day workshop  for the IAA third year students, with focus on sustainability and communication issues. The students were working in groups, creating solutions to design questions regarding themes such as water and sanitation, materials and renewable energy resources. The solutions and proposals were then to be illustrated in such a way that they even could have been communicated and understood in a developing context, in a situation without access to a computer or a common language. The used methods and the results generated several interesting discussions and the workshop will hopefully be repeated in some form during the coming events.

A big thanks to Föreningen Norden and the Nordic House, Hannes Lárusson, Halldór Eiríksson and all the participants for a successful event.




Reykjavik seminar programme and participants

Welcome to the South of North seminar in Reykjavik!

The seminar consists of two exciting days in Reykjavik. On Thursday 14.11. a public seminar will take place at Nordic House between 16-19, followed by an afterparty with food and drinks at B5 ! On Friday 15.11 the South of North participants will arrange a workshop in collaboration with the architecture faculty at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Five Nordic teams have signed up for the seminar:

Architects Without Borders Denmark

Asante Collective

Hildur Ísdal Thorgeirsdóttir

Bergen school of architecture / Rå Arkitektur

Komitu Architects

Free entrance

For more information on the seminar contact:, tel. +46763525736 or, +46761012515
Check most recent updates on the programme on the facebook page!



Great participation in Helsinki seminar

The South of North -collaboration was officially launched with a three-day seminar in Helsinki 10.-12.10.2013. All of the ten teams participated in workshops, public lectures and memorable dinners. The public seminar in the Finnish Museum of Architecture gathered a wide audience and sparked an enlightening discussion on the phenomenon of architects working in developing countries.

Warm thanks for our external experts reseracher Joni Karjalainen, Ilona Mooney from Aidbrella; Rasmus Waern, Jyri Rasinmäki and Anna Autio for documenting the seminar and Tuomas Toivonen for hosting us at the Culture Sauna!