I visited the Seto Inland Sea as part of a delegation of Danish architects eager to study potential strategies for regional development. It seemed quite obvious that the cultural ventures on the islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima could somehow be implemented in different scales and variations at a number of locations in Denmark struggling with similar problems of shrinking and ageing populations. At least from an overseas perspective, the prime examples of outstanding architecture on the three islands resembled the ‘Rural Bilbao Model’ every Danish regional planner is searching for. A genuinely ambitious rural-aid package just waiting to be plagiarised. But I got it wrong. The visit completely dismantled my naive presumptions. The lessons learned were much more radical and transformative than I ever anticipated.
My essay in this first issue of TOPOS calls for an Aesthetics Between Denialism and Apocalyptic Environmentalism.
Download and read the full version of the essay here