Nordic Hazardlands

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Odin holds bracelets and leans on his spear while looking towards the völva in Völuspá. Gesturing, the völva holds a spoon and sits beside a steaming kettle. The text “V:14” in the bottom left corner refers to Völuspá stanza 14.

R-Lab Marvels and Catastrophes, 2018-2019: Spring Semester.  Nordic Hazardlands

The Fall 2018 R-Lab workshop Art of Disaster Interrupted held at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial at the Earth School, successfully developed a series of design prototypes through decentralised practices that took advantage of the dense agglomeration of  local crafts industries in the adjacent Sishane district. For the coming Spring 2019 semester, R-Lab is initiating the second phase of applied research, focusing on Scandinavia and the Northern Baltic regions. As part of this program, two related events will be organised, a preliminary Seminar in December specifically planned to address forthcoming issues and strategies, and a travel workshop to Umeå Sweden and Vaasa Finland where the workshop will conclude in Onkalo, the longterm nuclear waste depository. The Nordic Hazardlands seminar and workshop will focus primarily on the evolving northern territories, that are the subject of significant climatic changes, geographic and topographic shifts, as well as  a troubled legacy of human activity. Specifically, expanding population, growing urbanisation, military bases and fortifications,  industrial development and big data storage centres, along with protracted surface mining continue to threaten the region’s natural environment.

The Nordic Hazardlands workshop invites participants to look beyond the well known factors of causality  in order to broaden the field of inquiry  to include archaic myths of origin, the tradition of native peoples and local customs, forms of internal colonisation and government programs for immigrant resettlements, as well as historic logging, mining and industrial practices. The Nordic regions have over the centuries cultivated strong independent survival practices, and these customs and updated practices may offer clues for improved and critical strategies for more sensitive development.

In particular, several primary elements and materials are associated with this northern region that have over the millennia spread across the Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, such as the collection of amber, resins, and minerals associated with magical, religious and mystical properties. In modern times, these elements and materials are deeply integrated into the technology production, providing the primary ingredients for advanced industries.

The Nordic Hazardlands workshop, for the week in Umeå will scout out and experiment with local materials, minerals, resins, and and recycled detritus to invent alternative design and architecture prototypes suitable for future uses.

Participants: the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm,  Umeå University Architecture Department, the Dusseldorf Art Academy Graduate Architecture program.

Additional Support comes from the Goethe Institute, LABLAB at ARKLAB, O&O Baukunst (Haus Rucker) Berlin Cologne, Fargfabriken Stockholm, ARKDES Stockholm.


INFO: The Olkiluoto Visitors’ Center Onkalo, Finland.


Unfortunately we can not arrange a visit to the Onkalo® repository,

but we can offer you another 4 hour visit for the price 4000 € (VAT 0 %).


The visit includes:

  • TVO visitor center and company presentation
  • LILW-repository (operational waste repository)
  • ONKALO® exhibition gallery, which is situated in the LILW-facility.

The exhibition is about spent nuclear fuel final disposal.

  • Lunch


The visit will be hosted by Posiva or TVO experts according to your points of interest.


Best regards,


I have e-mailed the Group reservations (email): visits(at)


Some more information from the webiste:

The Olkiluoto Visitors’ Center is open in the wintertime (from October to April) Mon–Fri from 10 am to 6 pm, Sat–Sun from 12 noon to 6 pm


TVO Nuclear Services Oy arranges customized visits and seminars with a technical content on commercial basis. The minimum group size is ten visitors.


The guided basic tour includes coffee, an introduction of the company, a visit to the operational waste repository, the ONKALO exhibition describing the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel and the Electricity from Uranium -scientific exhibition. The basic guided tour takes approximately three and a half hours.


Personal information is required two weeks in advance of all the participants of the group, i.e. citizenship, passport number, date of birth, name, place of birth and employer’s name. All visitors must present either a driver’s license, a passport, or an official identification card when arriving to Olkiluoto. The area tour will be carried out with the visitors´ bus. Small groups can be transported with a maximum of two private cars.






Lyra Koli – Allting Växer (Modernista förlag, 2018)
Set in a future, post climate catastrophies and world war, where the United Nations have been centered to a climate controlled zon. People live the good life in roof terraces, VR-environments, and body-embedded technologies. the pot centers around one group of citizen rebellion and actions agains this augmented, unnaturalistic way of life, and their detached relation to nature.
Pernilla Wåhlin Norén – Sorgens Princip (Modernista förlag, 2017)
A group of energy scientists focused on emotional power make a momentous discovery: sorrow can be transformed into an energy source more powerful than ever. This comes as the solution to the energy crisis of the world with its global access, and the industry saw no limits. Until the side effects started to surface.
And here, the link to the TV-series Den Goda viljan av Ingmar Bergman (1991), also in Swedish,



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