Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen

PhD thesis defense

Asbjørn Jessen, IGN, defends his thesis about Danish post-war social housing

PhD thesis defense — 24 June at 13:00


Date & Time:

Auditorium A3-24.11 Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C

Hosted by:
Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning


Asbjørn Jessen defends his thesis,

Assembling welfare landscapes of Danish post-war social housing:
A relational account on materiality and welfare production

Associate Professor Anne Tietjen, IGN
Professor Ellen Braae, IGN

Assessment Committee:
Professor Sigrun Langner, Bauhaus-Universität – Germany
Associate Professor Martin Søberg, Royal Danish Academy
Associate Professor Bettina Lamm (chair), IGN

In the aftermath of the Second World War social housing estates were built in the thousands across Europe in an effort to materialise the emerging European welfare societies. Crucial in the many new social housing estates were designed landscapes intended to provide social welfare and individual well-being for the inhabitants. These designed landscapes have for long remained under-investigated but new research, to which this PhD thesis adds, seeks to reappreciate them as the welfare landscapes of social housing, attending to such landscapes’ historical welfare legacies.
This PhD thesis explores dynamic relationships between the materiality and welfare production in Danish post-war social housing welfare landscapes for a relational understanding of these landscapes’ spatial qualities. Specifically, the thesis focus on how welfare landscapes’ materiality was initially constituted, and how it has changed over time and provided welfare in various changing ways.
The thesis contributes a novel theoretical and methodological approach by theorising social housing welfare landscapes’ materiality in relational ways as dynamic socio-material assemblages of people and ‘non-human things’ with a particular focus on the role of the latter in social housing welfare landscapes’ continuous materialisation processes. Importantly the prototyping of experimental drawings is used as a means of empirical enquiry to conceptualise, visualise and investigate dynamic relationships over time between the materiality and welfare production in social housing welfare landscapes. The empirical, theoretical, and methodological works of this thesis sheds light on welfare landscapes as in a continuous process of material becoming shaped through complex relational interchanges of heterogenous sets of human and non-human entities. The thesis contributes with insights on social housing welfare landscapes as multiscalar and intricately interwoven spatial compositions of both private, common and public spaces formed through sometimes frictious processes. The findings of this thesis provide new insights for current debates, transformation practices and future developments of social housing welfare landscapes, illustrating how the future of welfare landscapes is not solely modelled through interventions by design professionals alone and how caring for welfare landscapes rather than (re)designing them might provide welfare in new unforeseen ways.

A digital version of the PhD thesis can be obtained from the PhD secretary Anne Marie Faldt at anmf@ign.ku.dk