Re-imagining Rurality

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangement af en begivenhed Organisation af og deltagelse i konference


Abstract. While the major cities in Denmark are experiencing growth in population and economy, the surrounding rural areas face abandoned villages and increasing decay. This research focuses on the abandoned houses, seeking an alternative to today’s EU and state funded demolition programmes. These programmes are often carried out en masse without anyone questioning the consequences of loss of material and immaterial values such as cultural heritage, building density and local narratives. By way of contrast, this research seeks to establish a new critical practice based on a series of full-scale transformations of abandoned buildings1. The aim of the transformations is to develop and test full-scale transformation prototypes in authentic rural environments. Interaction with local people and their response to the prototypes can be seen as real life peer reviewing and is considered an important impact indicator and supplement to the physical transformations. The prototypes vary in achievement and in timeframe. Nine transformations have already been carried out in order to distil and disclose embedded material and immaterial hidden values in interaction with local communities. These transformations have helped to preserve the identity of the area. Contrary to common practise, the present research began with full-scale transformations of abandoned buildings and engaging with local inhabitants as a feedback mechanism. Later on it extended into the strategic planning level by engaging local politicians as well as the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs (DK). More actions are planned for the future, and the practice is already growing. While previous studies mainly focused on economic development2 in rural areas, this research addresses the question: Can transformed abandoned buildings contribute to the development of rural areas, when growth is not the primary objective
Periode28 feb. 2015
PlaceringLondon, Danmark


  • Transformation
  • Rurality
  • Abandonment
  • depopulation
  • decay
  • ruins