Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course: displacement, migration and colonial heritage. (Deadline for application: May 7)

The struggle of decolonization, once primarily located outside of Europe, has today moved within its borders and peripheries. What the media calls the “refugee crisis” is, in reality, the incapacity of Europe to come to terms with five hundred years of colonialism. It is not possible to understand today’s displacement of people, flows of migration, nor contemporary fascism, without a thorough knowledge of Europe’s colonial heritage. The course proposes an innovative, comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of colonial architecture, expanding on the notion of colonial space to interrogate present realities. The course has two main areas of investigation: looking back into the past through an exploration of the ways in which colonial architecture was re-used during the process of decolonization; and looking forward into the future through a study of spaces of resistance within European cities.

The focus of this year will be the afterlife of Italian fascist colonial architecture. Under the fascist regime between the two world wars, Italy built a vast number of public buildings, housings and monuments; an architectures that has helped influence and shape Italian cities as well as cities such as Asmara, Addis Ababa, Rhodes and Tripoli. In Italy the amnesia of Italian colonization paradoxically corresponds with the well-preserved and continually used fascist architecture. With the re-emergence of today’s fascist ideologies in Europe, and the arrival of populations from north and east Africa, it becomes urgent to ask: what kind of heritage is the fascist heritage? How do the material traces of the Italian empire today acquire different meanings in the context of migration from the ex-colonies? Should this heritage be demolished, simply reused or re-oriented towards other aims including reparations from Italian colonization?

The course revolves around an intensive program of seminars, lectures, studios, mentorships, reading sessions, site visits, and walks, which are scheduled three days every other week, spaced out by a week where participants independently develop work, research, write, read, draw, interview, and conduct site visits. Students work collaboratively during the academic year towards a research-based artistic intervention.

This second year course in Decolonizing Architecture is part of a sequence of yearlong courses led by Alessandro Petti, professor in Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. The course is based on the work developed at DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) an architectural collective founded over a decade ago in Palestine, and on the teaching philosophy experimented in Campus in Camps, an educational program established in Palestinian refugee camps. Advisers and invited guests include: Sandi Hilal, Rahel Shawl, Walter Mignolo, Vittoria Capresi, Lorenzo Pezzani, David Rifkind, Daniel Urey, Suad Amery, Giorgio Agamben, Galit Eliat, Ilana Feldman, Sari Hanafi, Thomas Keenan, Vasif Kortun, Salwa Makdadi, Achille Mbembe, Rasha Salti, Pelin Tan and Eyal Weizman.

Application deadline: May 7, 2018, 1pm

Apply via this link:

Kungl. Konsthögskolan–Royal Institute of Art (KKH)
Flaggmansvägen 1
SE-111 49 Stockholm

T +46 8 614 40 00

The Royal Institute of Art is a leading art institution of higher education located in Stockholm that offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Fine Arts and Architecture.


STOCKHOLM, 26 and 27 of April 2018


The conference presents a series of comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of colonial architecture, expanding the notion of colonial space into present realities. It will explore the internal colonization of Sami land in Sweden, remittance urbanisms and new struggles of knowledge production within Europe, pose disruptive questions around the heritage of Palestinian refugee camps – the oldest refugee camps in the world – as well as confronting the colonial heritage of European museums and institutions. A second day is dedicated to guided exhibition visits to Konsthall C and Tensta Konsthall and an evening lecture by Forensic Architecture that will call for the mobilisation of architecture as both a form of research and activism. A conference organized by the Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course and the Research Lab at Royal institute of Art (RIA), the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Konsthall C and Tensta Konsthall.

26 April, KTH School of Architecture

09.15-09.30 Introduction

Session 1. Decolonizing North

09.30-10.15 Joar Nango
10.15-10.35 Respondents: Meike Schalk and Maria Lind
10.35-11.00 Q&A

Session 2. Knowledge Production

11.20-12.05 Diego Barajas and Camilo García (HUSOS)
12.05-12.25 Respondents: Fernanda Ruiz and Carlota Mir (Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course)
12.25-12.50 Q&A

Session 3. Critical Cultural Heritage

14.00-14.45 Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal (DAAR)
14.45-15.05 Respondents: Jennifer Mack and Thordis Arrhenius
15.05-15.30 Q&A

Session 4. Decolonizing the Museum

15.45 – 16.30 Afaina de Jong
16.30 – 16.50 Respondents: Corina Oprea and Ulrika Flink
16.50 – 17.45 Q&A and final remarks by Peter Lang

17.45: Drinks
KTH School of Architecture’s Public Lecture:
Architecture and Philosophies ResArc Research Course Lecture convened by Hélène Frichot

18.00-20.00 Lectures and launch
Isabelle Doucet: Activist Tools for Situated Architectures
Alessandro Armando: Five problems on the politics of design practice

Launch: Resist, Reclaim, Speculate: Situated Perspectives on Architecture and the City, Architectural Theory Review (ATR) 22:1, edited by Isabelle Doucet and Hélène Frichot

27 April, Konsthall C and Tensta Konsthall

Guided visit by Corina Oprea of the exhibition ”Precarious terrain and entangled situations” with Ayesha Hameed, Carola Grahn, Elizabeth Povinelli & The Karrabing Film Collective, and Hanna Husberg

Guided visit by Maria Lind of the exhibition ”Soon enough: Art in Action” with among others Joar Nango, Dale Harding and Kultivator.

Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture