Shouldn’t All Architecture Be Designed With Empathy?
Lecture: “Shouldn’t All Architecture Be Designed With Empathy?”
The world we make in turn makes us, inscribing how we are being and becoming with others.” (Yoko Akama, 2015). As architects, we have immense power as we create the world other people are inhabiting. Can we use our capabilities of being empathic while designing so that the world we create resonates with the needs and wishes of its dwellers, the surrounding nature, and the planet? If we design with compassion, we might be able to create spaces that enable and support loving connections between people – don’t you think so?
About the Lecturer
Helena Sandman is a practicing architect focusing on empathic design and impactful architecture. She views the role of an architect as a creative mediator and sees architecture as an empowering tool. Helena began her architectural career in Africa two decades ago as a partner at Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects. Later, the same team co-founded the non-governmental organization Ukumbi (Architecture Sans Frontier, Finland), providing architectural services to needy communities. Hollmén Reuter Sandman’s projects were exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the main exhibition in 2016. In addition, Helena has her private architecture firm and is a founding partner of Leapfrog Projects, a global strategy and design consultancy specializing in complex sustainability initiatives. Currently, she holds a 5-year title of Art Professor from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Helena conducted her doctoral thesis, titled “Empathy Matters: Architecture for the World’s Majority,” as design research on affordable housing and maternal health. This research stemmed from her involvement in the trans-disciplinary New Global research project at Aalto University from 2014 to 2020. Since 2005 she has been teaching architecture, starting as assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and continuing at Aalto University Finland with a period of visiting professor at the BASEHabitat program at the University of Art and Design, Linz, Austria. Since 2009 she has been teaching multidisciplinary student teams engaged in project-based upgrading of informal neighborhoods in Asia and Africa. She is also a regular lecturer and exhibitor at various locations worldwide.
Pelli Distinguished Lecture