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Söderhallarna i Stockholm, invigd 1992. Arkitekt: Bo Kjessel.

Söderhallarna i Stockholm, invigd 1992. Arkitekt: Bo Kjessel.

Research conference: Almost History

Tuesday 15 December, 09:30-16:00

The ambition of ArkDes’ annual research conference is to highlight on-going research in the field of architectural history, and to lay the foundation for a fruitful exchange between the museum and researchers in academia. The theme for this year´s conference is “Almost History”, and refers to the buildings, people and phenomena that are conventionally excluded from in the writing of architectural history. With Mabel O Wilson, Wouter Vanstiphout, Christoph Grafe, Thordis Arrhenius, Catharina Gabrielsson, Erik Sigge and many more.


ArkDes´ collection contains about four million objects and roughly covers the period from the 1880s to today. Today, the museum is working on a new permanent exhibition, which will display the collection and narrate the history of Swedish architecture anew. The objects in the collection tell unique stories about architects, their creativity, the building of the Swedish society and the role of architecture within it. But there are plenty of prominent buildings and significant architects who are not represented in the collections, gaps that have developed due to taste, historical power relations, and more or less conscious forgetfulness.

The conference Almost History invites thinkers within the field to reflect on thie situation. The title partly refers to the buildings that are not old enough to have an obvious status as cultural heritage, including in particular the architecture of the 1980s and later. We also wish to acknowledge that our very large collection can only ever be a partial record, and to begin a debate about how to address the gaps.

The conference will take place online and you can preregister via the link below. A book documenting the conference will be published in 2021.

Book your spot here!

Calendar: Research conference: Almost History


15 December

Research conference: Almost History



09.30 Introduction
Kieran Long, Director, ArkDes

09.40 Curating and Researching ArkDes’ collections
Frida Melin and Daniel Golling, curators of the collections, ArkDes

09.50 Through the Anxieties of Style: the Rigging of Neoliberalism and the New Vasa Museum in Stockholm
Catharina Gabrielsson, Docent and Associate Professor at KTH School of Architecture.

10.20 Remaster Postmodernism – Studio RE -2020, KTH School of Architecture
Thordis Arrhenius, Professor  Architecture, Theory and Method and Mikael Bergquist, architect SAR/MSA, lecturer at KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm

10.50 BREAK

11.00 Uppenbart och osynligt: en studie i hur smak, stil och ideal formar arkitekturen (in Swedish)
Solmaz Beik, architect, KOD Architects and Tova Rudin, architect and artist.

11.30 Den nakna sanningen. Arkitekt Ingrid Wallberg i offentliga och privata arkiv (in Swedish)
Anne Brügge. Critic, literary scholar and writer.

12.00 LUNCH

13.00 Transnational Building – International Projects in the ArkDes’ Collections
Erik Sigge, Postdoc Fellow, MIT.

13.30 Erik Sigge in conversation with Daniel Golling, curator of the collections ArkDes

13.50 Making History
Wouter Vanstiphout, Partner in Crimson Historians and Urbanists, member of the Dean Team of the Independent School for The City, Rotterdam.

14.20 BREAK

14.30 Memorial to Enslaved Laborers: Blackness and the Architectural Archive
Mabel O Wilson, professor of architecture, planning and preservation at Columbia GSAPP.

15.00 Mabel O Wilson in conversation with Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, senior curator ArkDes

15.20 Archives of the Future. The Idea of the New City and the New Man as Envisaged in
1960s Sweden.
Christoph Grafe, Professor of Architectural History and Theory, University of Wuppertal, Germany

15.50 Summary

16.00 Ends

Book your spot here!