Connected Learning

Photograph by Hampus Berndtson
Rainwater flows through the Con-nect-ed-ness installation designed by Lundgaard &Tranberg Architects in the Danish Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale. 


July, 2021


Con-nect-ed-ness at the Danish Pavilion has been one of the talking points of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. For those of us who haven’t yet been able to visit in person, the photos of the installation designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects and curated by Marianne Krogh give a strong sense of its multi-sensory appeal: wet ferrocement, saturated fabric, raw wood, soft cushions, fragrant herbs and the sounds of trickling, dripping and running water. The curator and architects have been widely quoted on their intention to create a sensory experience that incites a visceral connection to water, and by extension the natural world of which we are an inextricable part. Architecture, Krogh describes in an interview, is a powerful tool for discussing the critical schism with the environment that is at the heart of contemporary life, because ‘it is so fundamental, and deals with the existential basic condition of settling down on earth […] It’s about the common denominator for all life: Movement, Processes, Energy, Pause, Sensations, Co-creations.’

Photographs by Hampus Berndtson
A flooded room where visitors can rest.

‘We want to examine things and expose things. And perhaps make people wonder,’ comments Lundgaard & Tranberg partner Erik Frandsen on their Biennale work. The Kalvebod Fælled School in Copenhagen is a more permanent and practical example of Lundgaard & Tranberg’s work, which also seeks to integrate natural rhythms within architectural forms. The architects have spoken of how the round shape of the building, intended to evoke a clearing in a forest, gives the pupils inside a sense of the sun’s path over the course of the day, gently exposing them to the cycles of the natural world.

Photograph by Torben Eskerod
Pupils at Kalvebod Fælled School in Copenhagen can trace the sunlight moving around the circular-shaped building through the course of the day.


The architects’ work is not about providing hi-tech solutions to great challenges, but about providing an opportunity for inhabitants and visitors to experience a sense of connectedness for themselves. Pierre Bourdieu wrote that ‘the body believes in what it plays at,’ an idea espoused by strategies for embodied learning like this one. This approach acknowledges an intertwining of body and mind that is not fully understood, but which nonetheless demonstrates vast potential for both individual wellbeing and developing greater environmental empathy, just as Con-nect-ed-ness is explicitly seeking to do.


Miranda Vane

Photographs by Hampus Berndtson
Water appears in different states throughout the Danish Pavilion.