A research and design think tank dedicated to understanding the social, ecological and spatial transitions in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region.
LABLAB explores the potential of linking theory and practice to identify and work within new classifications and configurations of the built and unbuilt environments. Disciplines, expertise and experience coalesce in cross-sectorial and trans-disciplinary collaborations to move beyond existing means of interpretation and innovation.

I Open Studio Dalarna frågar vi oss var landsbygderna börjar, vad hållbarhet innebär för landsbygderna och hur förutsättningar för en platsspecifik och inkluderande samhällsplanering skapas. I nära dialog med Region Dalarna och IBA Thüringen utforskar och samskapar Open Studio Dalarna ett antal olika omvärderingar som fördjupar vår förståelse för den sociala, ekologiska och rumsliga omvandling som påverkar regionen Dalarna – inifrån och utifrån.

Levande, någorlunda täta och dynamiska stationssamhällen skapar regional identitet och förutsättningar för en hållbar existens i  landsbygderna. Med rimligt avstånd till resurser i form av arbetstillfällen, offentlig, kulturell och kommersiell service, och mänskliga kontakter,  ger stationssamhällen möjlighet för fler människor att bo och leva utanför centralorten – i eller nära landsbygderna.

The Swedish National Museum is opening the exhibition Arcadia – A Paradise Lost in September 2020. Our LABLAB co-founder, Daniel Urey, is participating as one of the main curators on the topic of Hinterland. Read his contributing essay to the exhibition publication.

Arcadia – A Paradise Lost is a cooperation between the contemporary art centre Färgfabriken in Stockholm, were Daniel Urey contributes to design know-how and programs on topics related to European politics, urbanisation, ruralisation, history, climate change and resilience.

Photos by Suvra Kanti Das. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Linnalabor, the Estonian partner of LABLAB will be running the Master in Urban Studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts for 2020/2021. Make sure to apply!

Understanding our societies is about evolving and involving. Thus, we share here in various languages what we currently are reading, thinking and talking about. Sometimes it is just a link, other times a comment, and maybe even a reflection longer than 280 characters…

How do we communicate about the climate? Peter Lang and LABLAB believe strongly that we need diverse kinds of communicative efforts to speak about climate.

Communicating Rural Transitions in Times of Global Locality.

Rural areas are central for a sustainable transition on a planetary level. However, the enormous focus on a planetary urbanization does not only complicates why and how to develop ecological and social sustainable rural areas but also how we communicate about these transitions from a small town perspective.

Countryside Unfolds takes a look on the world from the horizon of rural Estonia.


A shared space – moving beyond the classification of rural and urban.

Martina Doehler Behzadi, Director of IBA Thüringen (D)

Monica Linder Guanaccia, Director of IBA Basel (CH)

Prof. Kerstin Schultz, architect at Liquid Arkitekten, Reichelsheim (D)

Anders Larsson, Researcher at Swedish Agriculture University (S)

Jan Rydén, researcher at KTH and Art Director at Alsike Development (S)

LABLAB participates as co-curator for the Architecture of Migration Conference in Riga, 7th and 8th of November 2019.

By choosing “Architecture of Migration” as a conference theme, the main curators – Dina Suhanova and Dagnija Smilga – aim to broaden the notion of “migration” beyond its preconceptions and deconstruct its most common meanings. Architecture in this context is considered a system, a medium and prerequisite for movement – not merely an inhabitable building but the physical infrastructure of space and intangible connections.

For more information please visit:

Next Hinterlands+

The countryside as destruction, nostalgia and re-invention: The German Case

Guest Speaker: Peter Lang.
With 25 years of experience in higher education and as former Professor at the Royal Institute of Art Institute in Stockholm, Dr. Peter Lang has developed and conducted courses in architecture, design, theory and history.

Place: Skissernas Museum in Lund.
When: 19th of Sept at 19:00.

Hinterlands+ is a cooperation with Goethe Institut Schweden.

Additional partners: SLU Alnarp and R-lab NA.

LABLAB at Färgfabriken Contemporary Art Centre, Stockholm.

What is a landscape? By asking this question, we want to create the foundation for a language that reviews and explores our understanding of the term “landscape” – because it is a term in constant re:imagination and transformation.

By Martina Doehler-Behzadi, Director of IBA Thüringia.

This essay is based on the lecture given by Martina Doehler-Behzadi at Umeå Architecture School the 27th of  March 2019. The lecture is part of LABLAB:s public program Hinterlands +, funded by the Goethe institut.

LABLAB in cooperation with Goethe institut.

Conditions of Swedish and German countryside(s).

While a radical urbanization proceeds in most places around the world, data shows an opposite but gradual development in Europe. However, it seems that people are not moving back to the countryside, but rather to an urbanized countryside.

How we will plan and design for the urbanized countryside[s] will obviously become a key question. In order to investigate this question LABLAB initiates a design research on the historical, contemporary and future conditions of the village.


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.

LABLAB initiates a cooperation with Frances Hsu at Texas University Architecture Department on the impact of food industry on rural and urban development.

Staging Countryside
Magazines still continues to be a relevant factor in countrysizing countryside.