After almost two decades of working in the architectural design industry, Anne-Rachael Schiffmann can be declared one of the most experienced in the field from her country. Due to her versatile experience, she has spearheaded important projects such as The New Central Library in Calgary and Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre in Toronto. With her vast experience in public architecture, many opportunities have come her way to give presentations to establishments. This article she presented at the National Arts Center, Ottawa concentrates on Nordic Architecture and the challenges of Nordic Design. Presently, Anne-Rachael Schiffmann a senior architect for Snøhetta, where has worked there for six years. She has been able to design the Los Angeles Broad Museum and the Lincoln Ristorante which is located at Hypar Pavilion Lincoln center New York City. Anne-Rachael has worked with Rice Lipka architects where she was a senior designer and a team leader for four years. During this time, she managed the performance of other designers while also acting as a critic for the designs that were brought forth for new projects.
In her presentation, she describes Nordic design as a type of architecture that is characterized by minimalism, simplicity, and functionality that emerged from Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Nordic architecture is famous for its beauty and affordability. Its personal touch by designers who from drawing to constructing it ensure that is perfect makes it one of the desired types of architecture. The Nordic design incorporates the use of anodized or enameled aluminum, for-pressed wood, plastics, as well as pressed steel. Her discussion on Canadian design puts into comparison Nordic design with Canadian design. Also, her presentation discusses how pedestrians are prioritized through various design methods in the transport sector
Nowadays, many Canadian design talents are starting to tap the rugged power of Canadian design. The approaches used to design have strong connections and similarities with Nordic architecture feel. Through their handmade, craft-based, and with wood predominance elegant modern lines, the designs developed are starting to have a naturally twisted Nordic design of their own. According to Toronto_x0092_s design museum, the reflection of Nordic aesthetic is due to the culture of the country_x0092_s youth. Since the country is young, its developers have multicultural influences from their neighbor countries who use natural resources such as wood to design. However, there are differences between Canadian and Nordic designs. For example, there is an appealing untouched, rough-hewn element to Canada_x0092_s design products. The country_x0092_s designers refine the Nordic to create a more natural feel in their furniture by using anesthetics (Gundtoft, 11-16).
Due to Canada_x0092_s sizeable natural wilderness, which is considered the second largest after Russia, people get influenced by the wild. Through the feeling of nature being at your back, a majority of Canadian designers ensure that they use hand-crafted pieces. Even though Nordic designers find it easy to reach their markets which is enormous, Canadian designers cannot mass produce their products and only settle for their small domestic market. Despite the challenges, Canadian designers have to be accolated for their limited edition designs that put together the ideas of Nordic designers and nature (Storni, 23).
As the number of urban and suburban population increases new forms of transport have to be developed. People start opting to walk on their own two feet as a means of transportation. Pedestrians have to be prioritized to make sure there are convenience and safety in pedestrian travel. Pedestrians are prioritized through the building of accessible routes such as sidewalks which are wider than they were in the past. Wheelchair pedestrians are prioritized and taken care of through the Americans with Disabilities Act where slopes are leveled and dimensions of sidewalks redesigned (Lorenz 1-6). According to Anne-Rachael, in the past, roads used to be 16 feet wide and without sidewalks. This made motorists to drive slowly, and pedestrians had to step out of the way of moving vehicles. It was notable that the rate of accidents was high. Nowadays, 32 feet roads have been constructed with a separate roadblock that is safe for pedestrians to walk on even with fast-moving traffic. Street crossings have been integrated into street intersections and in traffic signals to avoid accidents from collisions with vehicles. Junctions have been designed in urban and suburban areas. They are usually broad and are marked crossing distances for cars are limited by the curb radii and hence high car speeds are hindered reducing cases of collisions and accidents. In cases where intersections are long, mid-block crossings are raised in their center medians and brightly colored to make moving cars to stop and allow pedestrians to cross safely (Storni, 23).
Buildings in Nordic countries need more care. Safety is a concern in buildings designed by Nordic architects. Comparing the costs of construction, maintenance, and how long they last, something has to be wrong. The lifespan of Nordic houses cannot be built at all places. Since designers focus more on simplicity and minimalism, the houses are not made using the high quality and durable materials that can withstand weather calamities. To build long-lasting and robust dwellings Nordic designers should not entirely think of minimalism but also about increased safety, durability, and quality. Even if buildings become expensive to build it will be for a worthy cause (Lorenz 1-6).
Gundtoft, Dorothea. New Nordic Design. Thames & Hudson, 2015.
Lorenz, Trish. “Canadian Design: Nordic by Nature.” Financial Times. N.P., 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
Storni, C. R. I. S. T. I. A. N. O. “Design for future uses pluralism, fetishism, and ignorance.” Proceedings of the nodes design research conference, Malmo. 2013.