INCM 'Impact / Intact'
Lapland, Finland, 2017
INCM Lapland 2017 took place in Oulu and Inari, Finland on the first days of winter on November 17th – 26th, 2017 with the theme Impact/Intact. The event was part of the official programme for Finland’s centennial. Lapland is renowned for its beautiful and vast, intact nature, which acted as a source of inspiration to the discussions and contributed to the general atmosphere of the event. The EASA family was brought in the middle of the snowy winter, a previously unheard of setting for an EASA event! The fresh white snow brought a touch of magic to the event, contributing to the atmosphere by damping all the sounds, making everything more quiet and calm. These northern places are extremely delicate to the actions of humans and the impact of climate change. Amidst everything people have built in this world, we discussed about the relevance of having places where we don’t intervene with nature and instead preserve it for the future generations.
Moving locations in the middle of the event acted as a metaphor of the dual theme and a transition to a new phase of the INCM, a new mindset and a calmer atmosphere for the debates between NCs. The bus trip to Lapland also doubled as an excursion and a way to show the north to Easians. One of the main goals of INCM Lapland was to interact with local communities – the architecture community in Oulu and the Sámi community in Inari. Oulu is a bigger city in the norhern hemisphere, where we explored the impact of human culture; Inari is one of the northernmost towns and a central location for the Sámi people in Finland, surrounded by vast, intact landscapes. In Inari the discussions between NCs were held at the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos in the round parliament hall of the Sámi people. During the event there were two public lecture series under the theme Impact/Intact in both Oulu and Inari, open to the residents of both cities. The lecture event in Oulu was organised in collaboration with the Oulu School of Architecture and reached to the local architecture community. In Inari, the local culture of the indigenous Sámi people was included into the program, digging into their traditional way of life.
The theme was visible throughout INCM not only in the location and program of the event, but also in its organisation – for example in dealing with waste management, food etc. It sparked conversation about the relationship between humans and our environment in its broadest sense, provoking the idea that sometimes being passive and leaving things as they are might be a better option. The theme explored the impact our choices have both domestically and professionally, and how consciously we make these altering choices. It encouraged everyone to evaluate and compare the permanency of the impact our choices have with surroundings that would otherwise remain intact. The theme Impact/Intact highlighted the fact that architects stand in a position of influence in this regard and it is our responsibility to rethink what kind of impact we are having as designers. We need to review and reevaluate our relationship with the remaining intact environment.
Pictures by Alexandra Kononchenko