Competitive Edge in Architecture


- on architectural knowledge

- on complex projects

- on space syntax in practice

-  on the future architect

    Competitive Edge in Architecture is a seminar addressing the knowledge challenges architects are facing in an increasingly complex and competitive world. Prominent international researchers and practitioners in the field of architecture and urban design are invited to discuss what the core competences among architects are and how these can be developed to manage the knowledge intensive commissions of today and the future. The consequences of these challenges for future architecture is an open but critical question that will be raised and especially the role and potential of new advanced research based tools in this challenge for architectural practice.

    Competitive edge has more to do with the positioning and strengthening of the field of architecture and urban design than internal competition between architects. How can the architectural competence be articulated and enhanced to play the potentially leading and strategic role that is needed in the fundamental building tasks we are meeting in the face of climate change, social segregation and a globalised economy. Not least important is the role of architects in their partnership with other actors in the field: planners, developers, real estate companies as well as its many specialists.

    More specifically Competitive Edge in Architecture will discuss what architects actually can and how this knowledge and skill can be enhanced to both strengthen their own position but also to more precisely articulate what they contribute in the general planning and building process, not least their role in creating values; social and cultural, but also regular economical values. Could these values be better expressed or even measured. Can they help planners, developers and real estate companies refine their products. And how can this knowledge best be put to work in the development of a more sustainable future.

    The field of questions is immense and Competitive Edge in Architecture hope to start a discussion that is long overdue but will need to continue in many forms.

    After this, there will be bar and mingling.


    Time: 8 June, 13:00-17:30 (registration 12:00, bar until 22:00)
    Place: kulturhuset, HÖRSALEN
    Price: 900 kr + VAT (drinks and snacks included)
    Entries May 31 at the latest
    Arranger: KTH School of Architecture, in co-operation with 7th International Space Syntax Symposium 8-11 Juni, Stockholm

    Sponsors: FORMAS, Sveriges Arkitekter (SA), Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademin (IVA), White Arkitekter, Riksbyggen, Akademiska Hus, Stockholm Business Region, Svenska Bostäder (SB), Stockholmshem


    The Seminar 8th of June: Alexander Ståhle:
    Technicalities, entries:
    The Scientific Conference:


    Bill Hillier is the pioneer within the growing research field known as "Space Syntax", which analyses spatial and social structures in buildings and cities. Hillier is a professor of Architectural and Urban Morphology at the Bartlett, University College London, and in charge of the Space Syntax Laboratory.

    Spencer de Grey is an architected educated at Cambridge and working at Foster + Partners. He has lead several major projects, amongst others Stastead Airport and Trafalgar Square. de Gray was in charge of the work with Slussen and Foster + Partners have now been given the honours of continuing to develop their proposition first presented in 2008.

    Bjarke Ingels have worked with Rem Koolhaas at the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (1998-2001). 2001, he founded PLOT and 2006 Bjarke Ingels Group. BIG has received several of the greater Architectural Prizes, amongst others the World Architecture Award in 2008. Big also participated in the competition for Slussen in 2008.

    Ellen Hellsten
    Ellen Hellsten graduated from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1997. After practicing as an architect in Oslo she took a Masters degree from Harvard University. A planning position brought her to New York City. In 2003 she founded, together with her partner Franco Ghilardi, the architecture practice Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter

    Tim Stonor is an architect and planner. In 1995 he started the Space Syntax Laboratory at University College London (UCL) and in 1996 he started the consultance firm Space Syntax Limited that have worked with spatial analysis in co-operation with many of the great architects, such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid. The company today has 40 employees.

    Alexander Ståhle is a landscape architect, researcher, and director for the consultancy company Spacescape. In 2008 his thesis ”Compact sprawl” was published, where he develops urban analysis methods such as the Sociotope Map and Place Syntax. SpaceScape has worked with the largest urban planning projects and architecture offices in Sweden today and has 6 employees.