The 2nd Alvar Aalto Researchers Network Seminar, “Aalto beyond Finland. Architecture and Design” aims to create a network of researchers interested in the work of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The meeting in Rovaniemi, in February 2015, will be an opportunity to present up-to-date research and provide a significant meeting point for those fascinated by Aalto’s buildings and projects, in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.

Aalto’s work has had an exceptional impact beyond Finland since the opening of his office in Turku in 1927. Before World War II, his furniture was exhibited in strategic venues in Europe and America, from which Aalto established a solid network of professional contacts. During the post-war period, he took on many assignments and received great recognition in various foreign countries. His buildings, scattered around the world, as well as his unrealised projects, contributed to spreading Aalto’s design method in  different architectural communities, thereby proving its validity outside Finland. Even countries in which Aalto did not design any projects or construct any buildings, such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and Portugal, were influenced by his work. Although recent scholarly studies have contributed to an exploration of Aalto’s work abroad and its impact in the international context, they are fragmented, dwelling on national questions, without a holistic view. The 2nd Alvar Aalto Researchers Network Seminar “Aalto beyond Finland. Architecture and Design” strives for a comprehensive survey of the impact of Aalto’s architectural and design works abroad, in order to highlight those thematic communalities and connections among different international experiences.

Rovaniemi, Finland 16-18 February 2015

The seminar will be organised in two session types:

1. The “thematic session” will include papers of 20 minutes each, plus 10 minutes of discussion. Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Aalto’s impact in post-war international architectural culture
  • Aalto’s furniture exhibitions
  • Personalities who established a peculiar relationship with Aalto
  • The impact of foreign cultures on Aalto’s work

2. The “PechaKucha-style session” will consider papers of 10 minutes each (20 images), plus a short discussion. It will be focused on an analysis of Aalto’s buildings and projects outside Finland. Papers might tackle either one or a group of buildings/projects. Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to avoid reading presentations.

Participants in both sessions have to submit an abstract and, if selected, provide a final paper (3000 to 6000 words long) to be published in the proceedings. For more details, see the timetable.


  • Alvar Aalto Academy, Tiilimäki 20, 00330 Helsinki, Finland
  • Esa Laaksonen esa.laaksonen [at]
  • Merja Vainio merja.h.vainio [at]
  • Silvia Micheli The University of Queensland School of Architecture, Australia
  • Aino Niskanen Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland