While it is undeniable that the surrounding environment is changing due to human activity, the effects can be difficult to perceive directly, as they are often illustrated with unrelatable pictures of far-away places or overused graphics and statistics. Danish office Tideland Studio aims to change this. Through their work, they aim to bring forth a new type of sensible understanding of the changes happening around us. They work across disciplines, melding research, art, and architecture while employing the newest survey and fabrication technologies to give presence to the abstract phenomena that shape our planet. Because of their practical approach to research and the new perspectives that they open toward extreme environments affected by climate change, ArchDaily has selected Tideland Studio as one of the 2023 New Practices. The annual survey highlights emerging offices that use innovation and forward-looking processes to rethink the ways in which we practice architecture.
In the concept of Jonas Swienty Andresen and Simon Strøyer, the founders of the office, environmental research and architecture are intrinsically linked. Onsite research is essential to understanding the scale and implications of climate change, while art and architecture have the potential to engage with a larger public, translating abstract information into sensorial and immersive experiences. Using innovative technologies to give presence to the processes happening in extreme environments, the studio constructs new narratives, articulates complex and remote spaces, and contributes to a broader understanding of the changes happening to our planet.
The interdisciplinary approach materializes in various formats, from immersive exhibitions to interventions in public spaces or digital campaigns. All of these forms of practice combine spatial and sensorial experiences with deep learning rooted in research. Scanning technologies, together with digital fabrication, blur the lines between virtual and physical. In this way, architecture is understood as a mythology of not only designing buildings but also as a way of creating stories about the surrounding nature and capturing them in a physical experience, thus allowing visitors to engage with new spaces, create empathy, and explore new perspectives.
There is a gap between our understanding of climate change intellectually and our bodily understanding of what happens on a day-to-day basis. I think architecture is a way to bridge that gap because it brings attention to the body and to the senses. That is why architects have a huge potential in working to communicate what is happening to our planet. – Simon Strøyer
Archive of Endangered Spaces Exhibition
In March 2022, Tideland Studio traveled to Svalbard, Norway, to explore onsite the depth and layers of the glaciers. Through 3D scanning, they collected data condensed into dense clouds of points that describe virtually the elusive arctic landscape. Technologies such as 3D printing allowed the team to bring fragments of the icescape to Denmark, now presented at the Design Museum Denmark. Open from June 28 until October 22, 2023, the exhibition represents the first file of a larger research project titled “Archive of Endangered Spaces.”
The Svalbard Icescapes exhibition represents Tideland Studio’s mission to capture the trances of a changing landscape. The exhibition features a 3-meter-tall 3D print of a meltwater channel created by scanning the negative space that the water has carved into the glacier. The resulting shapes tell the story of the different seasons, similar to the rings of a tree. The initiative also represents a call to action, providing a reminder of the fragility of these landscapes and the importance of taking action to protect them.
We were quite interested in how you can capture climate change, going from what we can all experience today.[…] We wanted to add a new type of sensibility to the matter through these technologies, using 3D scanners and drones to capture the environment, manipulate it digitally, and create a physical representation of these spaces so people can get a bodily experience of what is happening up in the Arctic. – Jonas Swienty Andresen
The aim of the office is to expand this archive with different files from different spaces on Earth. The next project is focused on the rings of 2000-year-old oak trees present in Denmark and exploring the way they were affected by human activity. This continues the office’s methodology of looking at landscapes through architectural means like plans and sections that reveal their overlapping complexity.
Following a collaboration with architecture practice Rumgehør and artist Stine Rosdahl-Petersen, Tideland Studio transformed a narrow in the Godsbanen area of Aarhus, Denmark, into a public art installation. Titled New Ark, the 50-meter-long installation is a reflection on the warning of rising sea levels, which pose a threat to this part of Aarhus, which was once a flooded natural landscape, but also a tribute to the history and resilience of the place.
The installation sees three upscaled lifebuoys that seem to be thrown from the rooftop into the alley, creating ripples into the pavement. Using digital simulations and fabrication technologies such as CNC, the movement of the water is captured in the split second when the lifebuoys touch it. The waves and splashes, now set in over 100 unique concrete tiles, provide insight into water’s otherwise ephemeral nature. Visitors can sit on the mirror-like lifebuoys, which reflect the sky and distort the surrounding architecture’s lines, while the wavy tiles underfoot create a dynamic walking experience. In this way, the artwork transforms the urban space into an unexpected and sensory-rich environment while prompting contemplation on the interconnectivity between everyday life and natural phenomena.
One of the things we find fascinating about running a research-based practice is how research and practice speak to each other. Through research, we are able to look at what the newest types of technologies allow us to do, trying to push boundaries. From those learnings, we can apply that into practice so that even when we have to work with low budgets, we are able to apply that knowledge in new ways, made possible only through research. – Jonas Swienty Andresen
ArchDaily’s New Practices 2023 features 25 offices, sole practitioners, and startups from 5 continents, selected for their spirit of innovation and the diverse perspectives they bring to the field. Among them, research-focused office forty five degrees travels across Europe to gather stories of grass-roots initiatives that shape their landscapes and communities through Radical Rituals. In Ukraine, pioneering practice prototype set out to challenge architectural conventions, transform and bring humanity to public spaces and contribute to Ukraine’s resurgence on the global stage.