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Doctoral thesis defence: Maryia Rusak

Maryia Rusak will defend her PhD thesis “Factory-made: The Everyday Architecture of Moelven Brug, 1955-1973” at AHO on August 22nd. The defence will be in English. 

Trial lecture: 10.00.
The title of the trial lecture is: “The Value of Wood: Technologies and cultures of timber building in global histories of 20th Century architecture.”

Defence: 12.00. 

The event can be streamed using this link http://api.kaltura.nordu.net/tiny/h9q9n​ 

PhD thesis
Read the thesis online here


While architectural histories of post-war Norway tend to focus on the work of select signature architects, the role of construction companies and industrial producers in shaping the built environment has remained largely overlooked. This PhD project aims to fill this gap by studying the prolific building output of Moelven Brug—a Norwegian timber prefabrication company that, between 1955 and 1973, built schools, large housing developments and public buildings across the country. In order to meet the growing demand posed by the rapidly urbanising Norwegian state, and to do so cheaply, the company developed a highly-mechanised production apparatus. Over time, Moelven’s prefabricated products were incorporated by architects into a wide range of projects.  

Through the lens of a single company, the thesis explores the tripartite convergence between architectural discourse, pragmatic concerns of industrial production and bureaucratic institutions of the Norwegian welfare state. Approaching the company in its entirety, it examines aspects ranging from managerial organisation and labour relations to technological import and details of construction. In doing so, the thesis ventures into the socioeconomic “hinterlands,” offering an architectural history of a different post-war Norwegian modernity created by construction companies, managers, engineers, contractors, state regulators, politicians, local planners and architects. Testing the limits of the discipline, this PhD proposes a new methodology to study architecture beyond the accepted canon, bringing forward names and projects that have hitherto been overlooked.

maryia_rusak-1.jpegAbout the candidate: Maryia Rusak (1992) holds a BA in Architecture from Princeton University, USA and a MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Prior to joining the AHO PhD program in 2018, she worked at SWECO Architects, Stockholm on large infrastructural and urban design projects in Sweden and abroad. During her doctoral research, she has been a research fellow at the Bauhaus Global Modernism Lab in Dessau (2020) and co-taught “Timber Topping,” a Master's studio course on urban densification strategies through timber constructions (2021). 

Supervisor: Mari Hvattum

First opponent: Katie Lloyd Thomas
Second opponent: Timothy Hyde
Coordinator: Bjørn Normann Sandaker

Date: 22. August, 2022
Time: 10:00 am

Venue: A2 Sverre Fehn auditorium
Address: Maridalsveien 29