On May 13, 2021, 12 pm EDT, Harriet E. Berg, Consul General of Norway in New York will host and moderate the virtual salon Nordic Design Diplomacy: Designing Libraries with Mecanoo & LundHagem. Speakers are Einar Hagem, Founding Partner & Architect of LundHagem and architect of the new Deichman Library in Oslo, and Francine Houben, Founding Partner & Architect of Mecanoo, and architect of the renovation of the New York Public Library at Bryant Park.
The event will be streamed on the website of Helsinki Design Week.
Francine Houben (the Netherlands, 1955) is Founding Partner and Creative Director of Mecanoo architecten. Her work ranges from theaters, museums and libraries to neighborhoods, housing and parks. Each design is founded on observation of people, location, culture and climate. This analysis amounts to designs that respond to current needs yet are also prepared for (un)predictable change. With her practice, she has gained international acclaim. She holds Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) was granted lifelong membership to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Selected works include Delft University of Technology Library, Delft (1997) and Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom (2013). She recently finalized the renovation of the New York Public Library and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library- designed by Mies van der Rohe- in Washington, DC which both re-opened in 2020.
Einar Hagem is an Architect and Founding Partner of LundHagem. Over almost three decades Lundhagem has been driven by a consistent approach inspired by the Norwegian design tradition of simplicity, minimalism and functionality. All projects are informed by a sensitive approach to the surrounding landscape and a dynamic dialogue between nature and the built environment. The work of Lundhagem focuses on critical detailing and is economic of means both poetically and practically. Founded in 1990 with Svein Lund, Lundhagem today consists of over 60 employees and is managed by six partners. Whether for a small cabin or an urban master plan, Lundhagem’s work reflects a belief in combining the latest advances in technology and sustainability, whilst making use of local materials and handcraft traditions.
Harriet E. Berg is Consul General of Norway in New York, and began her tenure as consul general position in 2017. Promoting and aiding Norwegian artists, culture, and business interests in New York and on the East coast are key priorities for the Consul General. Previously, Mrs. Berg has held several positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1991, including as Minister Counsellor at the Norwegian mission to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, where she was head of the human rights team from 2011–2016. From 2000 to 2011 she worked for the Telenor Group, heading their Governmental Relations activities from 2007. She established and was head of Telenor’s Brussels office from 2000. Prior to joining Telenor she was state secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry from 1997–2000. Mrs. Berg holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, New York.
For the second time, Nordic Design Diplomacy in New York will open virtual doors to the prestigious Nordic consular residences in a series of engaging talks with design in focus. Nordic Design Diplomacy boldly combines traditional diplomacy with informal dialogue, to explore how design is used to share different perspectives on culture and values. These conversations invite two professionals in the field to share their experiences and perspectives on what it means working in different cultural contexts in the Nordic region and the USA.
The Nordic Consul Generals will host talks with Nordic and American design professionals, discussing life and work based on questions pulled from a specially curated deck of cards. This year, due to Covid-19 requirements of social distancing, the conversations will be pre-recorded at the residences and launched for public viewing on consecutive days during NYCxDESIGN‘s Design Days, May 13-18. In addition to the conversations, the audience will learn about the design and history of the consular residences as an embodiment of Nordic values through virtual tours of these unique spaces.
This year’s specially featured speakers are: Einar Hagem (LundHagem), Francine Houben, (Mecanoo), Hlynur Atlason, (ATLASON / studio), Todd Bracher (Todd Bracher Studio), Teemu Suviala (Facebook Reality Labs), Debbie Millman (Design Matters), Eva Christine Jensen (Eva Jensen Design), Kyle Bergman (Architecture and Design Film Festival), Claudine Eriksson (Graphic Designer and Art Director), and Anna Burckhardt (Curator and Writer).
The Design Diplomacy concept was created by Helsinki Design Week, the largest design festival in the Nordic countries.
The virtual programs will be presented in collaboration with Helsinki Design Week and NYCxDESIGN. The events are free of charge and open to the public.
The series is supported by The Nordic Council of Ministers.