Maybe it has to do with the Swedish Architecture education which I find lacking in everything.
Looking at the recruitment of Professionals in KTH there seems to be a certain "incest" going on,
which has been proven statistically, in comparison to other Universities around the world, where one tries to hire the most attractive, interesting and cutting edge architects to attract students in Architecture.
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First there is no need to attract students to the Swedish architecture schools. Due to it's popularity it's still one of the most difficult educations to get into, demanding the very best grades or luck/skill at arkitektprovet.

Secondly there is no culture or advantage to be found in teaching. In many other cultures being involved in education as well as working professionally as an architect is advantageous and raises you standing. In sweden there's not really any standing to be had and no advantage to teaching. Teachers are, with a few exceptions, young or not the most interesting architects. KTH is very cautious and has a long process of part time work and short term contracts for years before you might be considered for a more serious position. The requirements are wrongly or rightly less about skill as an architect or ideas and more about fitting in and managing the teaching slog. All in all a very Swedish way of doing things...

The education at KTH is general and comparable to most other european schools. It's not geared to fit immediately into a job but towards thinking about and developing architecture. I'm sure the construction industry would change the course a lot if they had any say.

New architecture in Sweden is poor because no one that handles the money cares or even knows about quality. If they do even a tiny bit, the organisations and construction firms don't have the skill and organisation to deliver. The idea that it's about confidence or other personal traits of individual architects is nonsense. There's huge, absolutely massive machine of businesses and bureaucrats that sit on money and power. This machine is designed to grind down architecture to the cheapest, leanest, easiest thing possible. A single profession has no chance against such a system. Thinking otherwise is idealism. The years under this machine (from the mid 70's) has of course left it's mark on architects and have in my view led to certain hobby horses and strange fixations. The repression has made them focus on some things that perhaps aren't that important.

New buildings in Sweden are objectively worse, in terms of architecture, than those of our Nordic neighbours. That Swedish architects can see this shows they have the skills and education to produce better work. If they were given the opportunity.
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While i agree mostly with makhno_, I would nuance it a bit. Swedish architects are - for good and bad - more concerned with the larger perspectives and the social consequences of the built environment rather than the art and aesthetic aspects of it. This is in combination with an industry and society that places great emphasis on efficiency and cost effectiveness as well as strict rules for things such as accessibility.

As a whole Swedish architecture (which is created by a whole host of actors of which architects are only one, and often a minor one) could become much better. But at the same time we do a lot of things right which I personally would ot trade away for more frequent appearances in the glossy journals.

Oh, and Swedish architecture students are quite talented in an international perspective, particularly in terms of intellectual independence. There are shortcomings as well of course, but its good that not all schools and countries are the same.
A arkTecko skrev:
I would nuance it a bit. Swedish architects are - for good and bad - more concerned with the larger perspectives and the social consequences of the built environment rather than the art and aesthetic aspects of it.
hmm... It's hard to know if that's the case because few if any European countries have such a lacking bostadspolitik as Sweden. There is simply no arena for the socially conscious architect to work in Sweden. There are no clients nor councils that take the matter seriously. No organisations or political institutions that have any power to do anything about the built environment. We have an extreme liberal market based system, comparable to the shools, and no countering forces. The "negotiated" setting of rents are just a hollow shell.

So again like with the artistic side the social side of the profession simply has no arena. There is only one arena and that is delivering floor space for rent and sale by navigating the system and enabling the client to promise society something nice whilst delivering the least possible.
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