Hanna Erixon Aalto
I am an architect and hold a Doctor of Philosophy in critical studies of architecture with a design-based and transdisciplinary thesis entitled Projecting Urban Natures. The core of my interest revolves around finding new ways of involving a multitude of actors in the development of resilient future strategies for sustainable landscapes. My work sets out to rethink and explore more integrated approaches to human/nature relationships, through the utilization of design-based and transdisciplinary research methods. While this core aim of my work remains the same, the task is approached from different perspectives: through different constellations of collaborative work as well as through case-based explorations that emphasize the relational, anti-essentialist and situated articulation of values of urban natures and how these forces come into play. My work is propelled through workshop-based, site-specific, and experimental design processes with professionals and researchers from the fields of e.g. systems ecology, natural resource management, political ecology, urban design, architecture, and landscape design, as well as planners, developers, local interest groups, and NGOs.
My research has been based on collaboration with researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre since 2006 and has also been carried out with researchers at Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and African Center for Cities in Cape Town. Design projects that have served as vehicles for exploring more integrative approaches include: Nature as an Infrastructural Potential-An Urban Strategy for Järvafältet; Kymlinge UrbanNatur together with NOD, Wingårdhs, MUST and Storylab; Årsta Urban Natures with James Corner Field Operations and Buro Happold; and Albano Resilient Campus — a collaboration between Stockholm Resilience Centre, KTH, Beijer and KIT. This last project has resulted in the book “Principles of Social-Ecological Urbanism” and the project has also served as a model for several municipal workshops in Sweden and was presented at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The principles that make up the SEU approach have also served as a basis for the 2015 Nordic Case Competition and 2016 Nordic City Challenge and are the subject of several Masters-level and PhD studies. The project group has also had an advisory role in the continued detailed planning process and the work has served as student literature and as a basis for studio workshops at several universities.
I have been teaching studios at the School of Architecture, KTH since 2005 and I am currently teaching in the Urban Design and Planning core studio; Urban Spaces and Landscapes studio and Master Degree Project in Architecture at KTH. I also advice students at master level and teach a course in Urban Morphology and Urban Design Theories together with Catharina Gabrielsson. Besides my strong passion in these subjects I hold a specific interest in pedagogy and I have developed a wide range of workshops, seminars and assignments for the studio format during the years.