I arrived in Sweden on September 21st. Everything started so easily, from packing up for the third time in six months, to my wonderful group of friends in Portland sending me off in style, to my incredible roommate Suzy volunteering to take me to the airport (NOT a thing when you’re an adult). I always wait for things to go wrong when I’m traveling…. and then when I was boarding my flight to Copenhagen at SFO, the attendant scanned my ticket and the turnstyle read in big red letters ‘CAN NOT BOARD’. I was too dazed from my sendoff the night before to react. In my head I was resigned to having to sleep in SFO until I could find a seat the next day for 1 million USD — yeah that’s where my head goes in crisis.
They reprinted the ticket and it was fine. Now I’m in Sweden, a rural town called Alnarp halfway between Malmö and Lund. The ‘town’ is basically just the campus where I’m based — Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The university has several campuses throughout Sweden, and specializes in agricultural, environmental, and veterinary sciences, as well as landscape architecture. I chose the Alnarp campus because of its proximity to Malmö and Copenhagen, without being directly in the city, as well as the opportunity to work with Dr. Tobias Emilsson, who has an interest in urban horticulture and ecosystem services and climate adaptation.
Alnarp is really not a town in itself, the campus is beautiful and is mostly a gigantic arboretum with more than 2,600 different types of trees and other plants. It seems that offices, lecture halls, and studios have been inserted into renovated storehouses, homes, and outbuildings for the castle where Dr. Emilsson’s office is. There are a few local businesses and one restaurant on campus, but most of the things for day-to-day life can be found in Lomma, the neighboring town.
After I puttered around campus in the morning, I sat in on part of a studio critique for my housemate’s studio. These conceptual models were the students’ collective impressions of a site in Malmö called Nyhamnen. There were 7 student groups, each creating an impression of some part of the site. I loved that light and shadow were part of the models! I’m excited to see how the rest of the course proceeds.
More to come from Lomma, Lund, Malmö and beyond!