Svava Riesto

Svava Riesto

Associate Professor

I am an associate professor in the history, theory, and heritage of landscape architecture and urbanism.

I specialize in the urbanization of the 20th century European welfare states and how its legacy is currently being renegotiated in relation to pressing urban issues such as gender diversity, public space, affordable housing, social justice, ecology and climate change.

From 2020-2023 I lead the project Women in Danish Architecture 1925-1975. A new history of practice and gender together with Henriette Steiner. In this and other projects, I uses tactics of public scholarship – e.g. oral histories, exhibitions, public history –to engage with society in expanding the archive of 20th century architecture.  Most recently, I have together with the team of Women in Danish Architecture co-curated the historical part of the exhibition Women at the Danish Architecture Centre that is open until October 23 2022. I often collaborate with local communities, designers, and grassroots initiatives in my research and teaching, and I draw from several years’ experience working in participatory urban planning and design. I have had leading roles in  European reserach projects/networks and often collaborate with international partners.

Publications and outreach

I am author of Biography of an Industrial Landscape: Carlsberg’s Urban Spaces Retold (Amsterdam University Press 2017) and Vademecum: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places (NAi Publishers 2020, co-edited with Havik, Pint and Steiner). I have edited more than 10 volumes, including special issues of Landscape Research, Nordic Journal of Architecture and Periskop: Forum for Art History Debate. My articles have appeared in journals like the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Landscape Research and Kritische Berichte Zeitschrift für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften.

New podcast De Glemte Arkitekter that tells new histories of woman architects in order to diversify and redirect the authorised narratives of Danish 20th century architecture (in Danish). Seminar and exhibitions at Caring for Plans, on how the 'ghettoplan' affects social housing areas on the ground, told by local residents, October 2021 at the Copenhagen Architecture Festival.

My curatorial work includes the exhibition Wunderstadt at the Galerie Aedes Berlin, Albertslunds Øhav at the local town hall Albertslund and, most recently, the living-heritage section of the HERA-funded exhibitions PuSH Public Space in European Social Housing. 


Current teaching, supervision and mentoring

PhD course 2021 (a new course on this topic will be conducted in fall 2022): Architecture, Landscape and Gender: Rethinking Theory, Methodology and practice

MSc course leader, Theories and Methods of Landscape Architecture

BSc course leader, Landskabsarkitekturens historie, nutid og fremtid

MSc and BSc dissertation supervisor


Postdoctoral mentor for Heidi Svenningsen Kajita, (Im)possible Instructions: Inscribing Use-Value in the Architectural Design Process, international postdoc based at Newcastle University, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, 2019–21


Supervisor for postdoctoral researcher Jannie Rosenberg Bendsen Women in Danish Architecture, together with Henriette Steiner. Project funded by Realdania, the Danish Arts Foundation, National Building Fund, Dreyer’s Foundation, Boyes Foundation. 2020-2023.


Curent PhD supervision:

Ann Pind, The Danish Academy, School of Architecture, co-supervisor

Nicole De Lalouviere, ETH Zürich, co-supervisor

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