LB°24 Participants

The waterfall that went silent

The Waterfall that Went Silent. Photo: Jonas Eltes

'The waterfall that went silent' is a spatial intervention in public space by the Umeå School of Architecture (UMA).

This sound installation and place for reflection was first built during summer 2023 as part of Umeå School of Architecture summer course “Laponia”, and is adapted to be showcased at the Luleåbiennalen 2024, in Luleå’s public spaces. This collaborative project is a case study in the research project “Resource driven colonisation in Northern Europe,“ conducted by architect and lecturer Toms Kokins.

The Waterfall that Went Silent, 2023-on-going

The Waterfall that Went Silent is a spatial and sound installation presented by the Umeå School of Architecture (UMA). Originally constructed during the UMA's summer course “Laponia” in 2023, this sound installation and space for contemplation has been redesigned to be shown in Luleå's public spaces as part of the Luleåbiennalen 2024.

The installation serves as a reminder of the vanished roar of the Stora Sjöfallet waterfall, which disappeared along with vast reindeer herding lands due to Sweden's hydropower developments on the Lule River in the early 20th century. The installation invites reflection on the human pursuit of technological progress, the trade-offs between resources and energy against the natural and cultural environment, and the mounting pressure on Norrbotten's resources in the past, present, and future.

Initially built at the Saltoloukta tourist station, the installation drew inspiration from indigenous building traditions and was designed for dismantling, leaving behind only a few rearranged stones. This approach calls for a new building culture where our impact on the environment and social context is radically reconsidered.

Through the act of bringing the story of Stora Sjöfallet to Luleå’s public spaces, the project wishes to counteract the consequences of the anonymization and de-contextualization of energy production and resource extraction. The installation is performatively built by its authors in the public space during April 2024, with the intention of triggering discussions with and among passers-by.

This project serves as a case study within the research "Resource-driven Colonization in Northern Europe," led by architect and lecturer Toms Kokins. This initiative aims to critically reflect on industries' impacts on local culture, economy, labour market, ecology, and collective identity through 1:1 interventions in collaboration with locally rooted partners.

This collaborative project involves

Astrid Hainzl (b. 2000, Stockholm, Sweden) is a former architecture student.

Blanka Ciborowska (b. 1997, Warsaw, Poland) is a Master student at the Royal College of Art in London. She is interested in the convivial aspect of architecture and its possibilities in bringing people together through making.

Cornelia Kalle (b. 1998, Vimmerby, Sweden) is a fourth-year student at Umeå School of Architecture (UMA).

Ebba Landstedt (b. 1993, Skellefteå, Sweden) is currently conducting their master thesis project at UMA. Their research focuses on how artistic research methods can be utilised to articulate historical impacts of resource extraction in northern Sweden.

Elsa Brynje (b. 1996, Malmö, Sweden) Is a fifth-year architecture student at UMA and Lund School of Architecture. Brynje is currently researching the importance of handicraft and craftsmanship in the built environment.

Felicia Raunås (b. 1995, Kungälv, Sweden) is an architecture student with a bachelor degree from UMA. Raunås is investigating a rural mountain village in Västerbotten, with a research focus on tourism and cultural heritage, for a master thesis project at Chalmers School of Architecture.

Jonas Eltes (b. 1993, Kungsbacka, Sweden) is a fourth-year architecture student at UMA.

Jonathan Andersson (b. 1999, Västerås, Sweden) is a fifth-year architecture student at UMA.

Maxine Lundström (b. 1990, Ängelholm, Sweden) is an architect at White Architects and adjunct lecturer at Umeå School of Architecture. She is initiator, tutor and coordinator of the summer course Laponia, Umeå School of Architecture.

Molly Myrsten (b. 1996, Stockholm, Sweden) is a fourth-year architecture student with a bachelor degree from UMA, now studying her masters at Lund School of Architecture.

Sara Tuohimaa (b. 1996, Sundsvall, Sweden) is a fourth-year architecture student at UMA.

Tekla Gustafsson (b. 1998, Pargas, Finland) is a Swedish-speaking Finn who moved to Sweden to study architecture. Gustafsson is currently based in Malmö.

Toms Kokins (b. 1982, Riga, Latvia) is an architect and lecturer at UMA, Sweden. Kokins’ research practice and pedagogics conduct experiments on resource conscious and context specific architectural tools and methods. He is a tutor and coordinator of the summer course Laponia, UMA.