Actar Publishers launches Inventing Greenland—Designing an Arctic Nation
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Inventing Greenland—Designing an Arctic Nation
By Bert De Jonghe
“Inventing Greenland offers a timely contribution to the growing literature on Arctic studies in design as well as an important chapter in the description of planetary urbanization.” —Charles Waldheim (Harvard GSD)
Inventing Greenland (Actar Publishers, 2022) offers a thorough overview of a distinctive island undergoing tremendous development via the perspective of urbanization while highlighting its historical and contemporary difficulties and upcoming opportunities. The target audience for this book is architects, landscape architects, and urban planners. It was written by Bert De Jonghe, a Belgian landscape architect, the founder of Transpolar Studio, and a doctoral candidate in design at Harvard University. A unique spatial sensibility is used in Inventing Greenland to study the local cultural, social, and environmental realities, understanding the wide range of relationships that the built environment both supports and produces. De Jonghe shows and foresees transitory times in the region’s deeply entwined urbanized, militarized, and tourism landscapes by investigating Greenland as a complex and interwoven cultural and geographical place.
Ricardo Devesa, Editor in Chief of Actar Publishers, had much to say about the book: “Bert de Jonghe’s shares a genealogy of research on the ways in which architecture, landscape and urban planning have operated in the face of extreme weather conditions in Inventing Greenland. This in-depth analysis about the world around us is a growing trend seen in many of our recent publications such as Many Norths, Monsoon as Method, or Landscapes as Territories. In these investigations, solutions and responses rooted in the cultures of such territories are analyzed in depth, from the use of advanced analysis tools, to the redrawing of design strategies and explanatory texts. It is therefore with pride that I, as the Editor-in-Chief of Actar, am able to present this new title, joining our array of books focussing on where remote and extreme conditions offer a rich repertoire that can be exported to other environments that, due to the climate crisis, may occur in nearby areas.”
About the author
Bert De Jonghe earned his Master in Design Studies degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design after completing a Master of Landscape Architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and a Bachelor of Landscape and Garden Architecture at the School of Arts in Ghent. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at Harvard GSD’s Office for Urbanization and with landscape architecture offices in Belgium, South Africa, and Norway. During his studies and work, he developed a critical approach to the emerging challenges generated by climate change, geopolitical forces, increased industrialization, and migration in Arctic and Sub-Arctic landscapes. This approach continues to influence his current doctoral research at the Harvard GSD, which is focused on polar urbanization. This research is supported by generous grants from the Penny White Project Fund, the Doctor of Design Grant, the Harvard University International Grant, and the MDes Research & Development Award. His recent publications include Inventing Greenland—Designing an Arctic Nation (Actar Publishers, 2022) and “The Opening of the Transpolar Sea Route: Logistical, Geopolitical, Environmental, and Socioeconomic Impacts” (Marine Policy Journal, 2020).
Inventing Greenland is available for sale online at Actar Publishers and selected bookstores worldwide.