Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

Decolonizing Architecture: displacement, migration and colonial heritage

( 60 ECTS Credits )

Italian Ghosts, Venice Architectural Biennale, 2014, DAAR.

The next course in Decolonizing Architecture starts in autumn 2019. More information will be available on the website in March. Last application date will be May 8 at 13.00.

The struggle of decolonization once primarily located outside of Europe, today has moved within its borders.  What the media calls the “refugee crisis” is, in reality, the incapacity of Europe to come to terms to the condition of five hundred years of colonialism. It is not possible to understand today’s displacement of people and migration flows, nor contemporary fascism, without thorough knowledge of the colonial heritage.

The course uses the term decolonization as a starting point to understand the globalized present and the associated contemporary conditions of exile and struggles against oppression and domination. The course proposes an innovative, comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of colonial architecture expanding the notion of colonial space to present realities. The course has two main areas of investigation: looking back into the past by investigating the ways in which colonial architecture was re-used in the process of decolonization; and looking forward into the future through a study of spaces of resistance within European cities. By employing video, photography, mapping and modelling, the course aims to generate a web-based interactive platform titled – Atlas of Architectural Decolonization.

Course Content
The focus of this year is the afterlife of Italian fascist colonial architecture. During the period of the two world wars, under the fascist regime, Italy built a vast number of public buildings, housings and monuments. Architectures that has helped influence and shape both Italian cities and future cities such as Asmara, Addis Ababa, Rhodes and Tripoli. In Italy the amnesia of Italian colonization paradoxically corresponds with the well-preserved and continually used fascist architecture. With the re-emergence of today’s fascist ideologies in Europe – and the arrival of populations from north and east Africa – it becomes urgent to ask: What kind of heritage is the fascist heritage? How do the material traces of the Italian empire today acquire different meanings in the context of migration from the ex-colonies? Should this heritage be demolished, simply reused or re-oriented towards other aims including reparations from Italian colonization?


Level: Post-master
Requirements: Master of Fine Arts or Architecture or equivalent experience
Application Deadline: The application deadline has passed, but there is a possibility of submitting a ”late application”. The application system opens again August 1 – 15, to 13.00. If you have any questions contact professor Alessandro Petti,
ECTS Credits: 60
Programme Length: 1 Academic Year, full-time
Teaching Language: English

Course structure
Students work collaboratively during the academic year towards a research-based artistic intervention. The course is divided in two semesters: In the fall a series of lectures, seminars, reading groups and self-presentations will lead to a mid-term public conference/exhibition. In the spring, more emphasis would be put on the production of a collective intervention/exhibition. During the fall there will also be a site visit to Asmara and Addis Ababa.

The current course’s mid-term public conference/exhibition Decolonizing North was organised in collaboration with Konstall C and Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University, and the intervention/exhibition which concludes the course will take place in Palermo in June in occasion of Manifesta. Interested applicants are invited to attend the opening June 22, 2018 at the Casa del Mutilato in Palermo.

The advanced course Decolonizing Architecture is part of a sequence of courses that together form a platform for higher education and research on the topic of decolonizing architecture. The courses are led by Alessandro Petti, professor in Architecture and Social Justice at Kungl. Konsthögskolan-the Royal Institute of Art. Advisers, invited guests include: Sandi Hilal, Iain Chambers, Adelita Husni-Bey, Vittoria Capresi, David Rifkind, Hisham Matar, Maria Lind, Daniel Urey, Suad Amery, Giorgio Agamben, Galit Eliat, Ilana Feldman, Sari Hanafi, Thomas Keenan, Vasif Kortun, Salwa Makdadi, Achille Mbembe, Rasha Salti, Rahel Shawl, Pelin Tan, Eyal Weizman.

Course syllabus Decolonizing Architecture 2018 2019

Apply via this link:
The application deadline has passed, but there is a possibility of submitting a ”late application”. The application system opens again August 1 – 15, to 13.00. If you have any questions contact professor Alessandro Petti,

Contact information

Finance, Fees and Accommodation
There are no admission or tuition fees for students from countries within the EU/EEA.
Admission and tuition fees apply for students from countries outside the EU/EEA.
The tuition fee at the Royal Institute of Art is 313 000 SEK per academic year and the admission fee is 900 SEK. There is a scholarship available to cover the tuition fee. The scholarship is awarded to one student and the application is made through the digital application for the programme. International students who have been accepted to a study programme in Sweden must show financial means of support during study time to the immigration authorities in order to obtain a study visa.
Info about fees 2017-18.

Finding accommodation in Stockholm can be a challenge. For this reason, Kungl. Konsthögskolan – The Royal Institute of Art has partnered with Housing Anywhere to make sure you can book your room with priority and in complete safety. Only if you successfully find a room, a small booking fee will be charged. You can also use Housing Anywhere to offer your room to an incoming student during your time abroad. In this way, you avoid paying double rent and can move back into your place upon your return.

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