Skip to main content

Summer Workshop: Un-Urban Experiments

14th June to 2nd July 2018

in Sandefjord, Norway

Summer Workshop: Un-Urban Experiments in Træna, Norway Interaction Design and Architecture in the Arctic Circle

Un-Urban Experiments is a summer workshop that brings together students from New York and Scandinavia to work on a design challenge at the intersection of the urban and the "un-urban" in Træna, Norway, a village in the Arctic Circle.

MFA Interaction Design students are invited to join a multi-disciplinary team of design, art, and architecture students to work on a concrete challenge defined and presented for the participants by local community members in the Arctic Circle. The problem space will be site-specific and based primarily on local need and conditions, but open to the unexpected contributions that students from diverse backgrounds will bring. The project and process will be framed and focused as something relevant to many remote and peripheral communities in Scandinavia.


The workshop will consist of two weeks of intense collaboration and building, with one additional (optional) open week that culminates in public events including exposure to thousands of visitors to the Træna Festival, the most spectacular music festival in the world.

This program is an exciting and rare collaboration between the School of Visual Arts (New York), Umeå School of Architecture (Sweden), the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Norway), and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. The Municipality of Træna and the Træna Artist in Residence Program are hosting the program with financial support from the Norwegian Arts Council.

Purpose and Goals The workshop will focus on the contrasts between the urban and the non-urban landscape, and is designed to get deeper learning and cross-disciplinary training in the fields of art, architecture and design. In addition participants will learn from local, practical knowledge evolved over hundreds of years by the local inhabitants.

How can design, architecture and art give valuable answers to societal challenges we meet today? Can design methods be applicable not only in the dense urban landscape, but also in the periphery, in remote and sparsely populated communities? What can young professionals from urban areas in the United States and Scandinavia learn from each other, and what can they all learn from small and remote communities? The workshop will foster deeper learning from real-world application, one where local experiences and conditions play a role. Students and young professionals will get experience from cross-disciplinary teams and site-specific work. All participants will contribute directly to the local environment, and people. All participants will leave with real world experience from an un-urban environment as a contrast to the theoretical and technology-centric concentrations of design and architecture in urban settings.

Visit website