the Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennale 26/8 - 21/11 2010.

4 Sept 2010

Planning for the near future

Planning for tomorrow. Today we are tired, and we feel that is has been an intensive week. But tomorow is the last day of Testbedstudio's, and we have some bright new ideas for how end the show. After a beer it all feels better.

We built this city on rock and roll

This is at least the soundtrack we think about to this clip. In our office space at the pavillion we have continuously played music with loudspeakers connected to our computers. It is the same music as we normally play in our office in Sweden, as it is the same computers (although we nowadays mostly play in the evenings and nights). In an office, music needs to be orchestrated to follow the different phases of a working day, so that it gives relaxation when it should, intensity when it should, and mild creativity when it should. Perhaps this is in parity with the needs of the Biennale viewer too.

Private planner

We get help from a kind person to rebuild the city.

Biscuit tower

Another futile venture. First and smallest misjudgement is how much (or rather how little) one can build out of five packets of nocciola wafers. The answer in our case is an approximately 50 centimetre high tower, which suddenly appears very short and lonely on the table. Second and more severe misjudgement concerns peoples social behaviour. It is scary and awkward to pick a wafer, even if you are not the first (and this is the same crowd that was throwing themselves over the styrocutter just minutes before), perhaps more so as Anders stands ready with a camera to document the eating. It is scary and awkward to pick a wafer because the uncertainty if this is a project to be looked at and considered as an architectural model (it stands very close to our model of the exhibition space). Is mixing of categories futile when it concerns edibles? Can one eat art? The food eventually disappears into people.


Today we are experimenting with forming our lounge ring in a more collected way, into something like a heap. This allows for more elaborate ways of sitting, in the same time as there is place for fewer people. But we decide we like the original ring shape better, as it gives space for more people, and occupy the space better in the pavillion. Also, it is good that the couch is stretched out, as people's feet then stay on the floor and not on the fabric. This is specially important when the weather is rainy and muddy.

Shrinking cities

Our styrocutter is loved by all, but has also turned into a playground in which architect parents show their architects to come kids how to work it, and then letting them produce material in what is becoming continuously diminishing fractions, as everyone is picking up an already finished piece and starting all over. The city is declining and we decide to move it to another table.

Fiddling with the tripod

Setting up the Plantcam again.

3 Sept 2010


Not only did our EPS city acquire sprawl and suburbs, but it also got its own city dump.

Bad language

This was probably our worst lecture ever. Not in terms of content or esprit, because we had that. We though that since our sitting ring has been so popular - full from dawn to dusk - we should make a lecture on the different sitting objects we have been involved in. We started with a well filled couch of 15 people, and ended up some 30 minutes later with only one very brave listener, even clapping her hands afterwards. We asked if she liked it. She said she did, and then left. The conclusion: People does not like forced intellectual stimuli on themselves, or having the preassure to perform as an audience. When we have been working at our desks, specially with the styro cutter, it has been the reversed, with the whole operation threatening to turn into an uncontrollable playground. It's just to learn.

Plantcam fan

This is David Cesaria from Barcelona. At our table, he has just seen the Plantcam, and like so many others finds it to be a curious object.

Virtual karaoke

These ones are singing just by themselves.

Pro cutting

Now the pros are taking over.

2 Sept 2010

People eat in architecture

After all the plums, peaches and sangue di dragos (dragon bloods), night falls on the Nordic pavilion.


Last talk before Fredrik leaves for Malmö again.

White chair

The day is approaching its end, and people are tired. Good that we have 40 white Chinese plastic chairs that may travel around the exhibition.


Skyping with Marie Egger from 0047, who will take over the recidency next week.

Fruit break

Erik in conversation with a staff member from the British pavillion over an apricot.

Green is the new black

And Erik is continuing on his drawing of green architecture.


How the pavillion looks like at this particular time.


Meanwhile, the construction of the city continues.


It goes down well.

Learning by eating

Our fruit table consists of eight colour coded kinds, and a corresponding list of Italian names.

An apple is not a pesca

We get some help with the translation for the food setup.

Don't look now

In one of the coolest and most relevant films with Venice in the lead role, Donald Sutherland works in the city as a restoration architect. Venice becomes a schema of his state of mind, and the outcome can only be one: Death.


A happy Danish German couple sits down to see what is happening.


And the joy of the result.


The excitement of producing.

Self going

Soon everyone wants to try by themselves, and we are rendered oblivious.


The table is soon crowded with people who want to have their designs executed. Just finished with a church.

Favourite building

We accomplish everyone's desires. Here we make the favourite building of a Milanese real estate dealer, to be included in the styrofoam city we build.

Magnetic fields

The kids helping us arranging the notice board.

Travellers tales

Anders starts the day with an impromptu presentation of some recent travels we have made.

1 Sept 2010

If it aint broken, don't fix it

Fredrik is having a talk about our project in Amagerbrogade, a street in Copenhagen. Comissioned by the city, we made a plan for how the street may be developed, with the help of citicens and different interest groups. Our main strategy was that one in this case should not attempt standard solutions of surface renovation, but rather to look at what is there and support those features.

Green architecture

We speak about green architecture with Luciano Palmiero, who is exhibiting in the Italian pavillion with Davide Vargas.

EPS urbanism

Anders starts building a city with the aid of extruded polystyrene.


Time for some sandwiches.

Sleeping in architecture

The theme of the Biennale this year is People Meet in Architecture. But when you are closest to space and your dreams is when you sleep.

Silent lecture

To create a more intimate setting, we move the projector screen inside our sitting ring, and try speak without microphones. The result is that one has to be very near to hear anything. And what is Erik speaking about, softly? He talks about a recent project in Warsaw, as part of The Knot, where we made a large painted gamefield in the suburb Ursynow.

Ten o'clock

A new day starts.

31 Aug 2010


And a bit of party again. Imagine this with music.


Simon and Magnus having a chat about a project in Norway.

Lounge in speed

The result of Magnus time-lapse film of the lounge couch.


Setting up the guerilla gardening Youtube film clip dvd.

Lots of ideas

Fredrik and Erik makes a talk about a previous project we made called "100 ideas for urban improvement". We haven't looked at this for some five years, so it's a good opportunity to catch up.

Short film

Magnus is mounting the Plantcam on the ladder. The Plantcam is a great camera that autonomously can take time-lapse films. It is waterproof and cheap, so you can hang it in a tree and it is not the end of the world if someone steals it. Downside: It has to be imported from the States. Anyway, this is the last image you will see of Magnus on this blog, because in ten hours from here, he will be a father. Magnus is now happily at home in Malmö with Anna and the daughter Maja. Hooray for them.

Cytting styro

Magnus starts operating the styrofoam cutter, and begins with the project logo.

One man lecture

We met Iqbal Serang, architect from Palo Alto in California, and started a conversation. Erik ended up giving him a very personal lecture.

Morning meeting

We start the day by deciding what to do. Seems like a good idea.


Everything still before we start.

30 Aug 2010

Late lecture

Towards the end of the day, when some people have gathered in our lounge, we make a spontaneous talk. As a warm-up some pictures from an adventurous trip to Inner Mongolia (on the screen you see Dutch architect Kamiel Klaase from NL Architects and Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei). Then we do the 5 minute lecture that we were supposed to have held last thursday in the Küchenmonument space by Raumlabor, temporarily set up outside the Italian pavillion. As flights were late, we missed that one (ending up with a ten second talk before closing time) and it felt good with lecture revenge.


And Alpars film? This is what it looks like, depicting our whole office moval. Note the heavy rain passing by.


Also the older people enjoy sitting here.


All the kids having fun with the beanbag.

Shiny beast

The shiniest floor ever. Again.

Last call

Rushing to be finished, so we can start planning what to do for the rest of the week. Now we feel that just maintaining the space (needs to be cleaned every day - always a thin layer of dust in the morning) and the net (with photos to process and new posts to be published every day) takes half of the time there. But after a while in the new space, we start to get energy to bring the audience along again.

Silver seal

Sealing the waxed silver paper with a line of silver foil tape.

Change of floor

Ofter four days of opening party tear, rain water and wine on the floor, we feel that it is time to add a new layer of shiny silver covering.

Time lapse

Alpar shows how the time lapse set-up works.

Now we are cleaning

We decided to start with a big cleaning opertion, and started by throwing everything out of the house. It is also a chance to redecorate a bit. The green house will find a permamnent place outdoors thoughout our week.