WEBINAR: The Icelandic Turf House - More Than a Human Story. Environmental Lunchtime Discussion
How can architecture form new human-nonhuman relations, cohabitation, ecosystem thinking and doing? Anthropologists Tinna Grétarsdóttir and Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson talk on the socio-material entanglements and multispecies relations of the Icelandic turf house.
Photo: Untitled. 2018. Hannes Lárusson, Hildigunnur Sverrisdóttir, Sigurjón B. Hafsteinsson and Tinna Grétarsdóttir.
How can Icelandic turf house architecture be of value in “hold[ing] open space in the world for other living beings” (van Dooren 2014: 5) in pandemic times when communities and ecosystems are sinking deeper into devastation. In the early twentieth century, the turf house, the home of Icelanders for more than a millennium, was considered an obstacle to progress and was brutally eradicated. Advocating for renewed interest in this vernacular architecture, Grétarsdóttir and Hafsteinsson speculate about the loss of the turf house ontology and the human and nonhuman distributed agencies and dependencies embedded in it.
Challenging human-centered approaches to architecture, they approach the turf house as superorganism, consisting of complicated root systems, soil, fungi, microbes, plants, lichens, stones, wood, insects, humans, cows, sheep, etc. As such reflecting upon the turf house socio-material entanglements, multispecies relations, time and space as essential elements for creating architectural complexes of an interdependent and growing coexistence. The research is grounded in an interdisciplinary approach of art and science and will affect thinking on how future architecture can become accountable for forming new human-nonhuman relations, cohabitation, ecosystem thinking and doing.
About the speakers
combining research and art. She has researched, published and curated exhibitions
About the event series
The OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series consists of short, 10-15 minute presentations by invited guests, followed by a discussion. We invite speakers from a wide variety of fields, both academic and beyond. The presentations are accessible and are aimed at anyone with an interest in environmental issues. All are welcome.