An exhibition called Animal Architecture  


In May 1995 an exhibition called Animal Architecture opened at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The exhibition was designed by Professor Juhani Pallasmaa, together with a work team of zoologists, and it was regarded worldwide as a unique collaboration. 

The exhibition comprised a versatile presentation of the building skills of almost all classes of animal. The exhibition experience itself was also unique: the entire floor of the museum’s main hall was covered with soft sand and the lighting corresponded to twilight, while the space was filled with the sounds of different animals.  

The questions raised by the exhibition about the coexistence of man and other species are still painfully topical today: most animals are unable to adapt to the almost ubiquitous human modification of the environment. The ever-diminishing living space of animals leads to an imbalance in nature. The irreversible destruction of animal habitats is one of the reasons for the acceleration of the extinction of species.  

Almost three decades later, it is a good time to ask the exhibition’s designer, Juhani Pallasmaa, what he now thinks about animal architecture. Alonzo Heino, a doctoral researcher in aesthetics at the University of Helsinki, who is familiar with the relationship between human skills, art, technology and nature, discusses these themes with Pallasmaa in a video.

The studio is a small, admission-free exhibition space located on the ground floor of the Museum of Finnish Architecture.