Fulbright Faculty Scholar Anu Soikkeli

I am an architect and an associate professor in Arctic Architecture and Environmental Adaption at Oulu School of Architecture, University of Oulu, Finland.  I hold a Ph.D. in both Architecture and History, and I have always found interdisciplinary research rewarding. I was born in Lapland in Finland, but my roots are in Karelian culture and the Karelia region, most of which was ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II. Research has always been a way to seek and build my identity. My research interests include the history of architecture, the restoration of wooden buildings, the identities of historic towns and villages as well as the human-environmental relationships. I am the project leader in the national research project “Reshaping Living: New Structure and Life for Old Suburbs,” aiming to enhance the vitality of these communities and enrich the range of housing solutions and dwelling types in them. I am also the Finnish coordinator in the international project “Arctic Heritage: Developing architectural solutions and conservation techniques for unique cultural objects,” a board member in The Nordic Association of Architectural Research,and a representative body member in the Museum of Finnish Architecture.  


I am particularly interested in how researchers have approached and studied the identity of communities, its formation, and significance, or the threats to it. And because I am an architect, what is of particular interest is what significance the built environment has played and continues to play in the formation and preservation of identity. Furthermore, I am interested in the significance of memories and awareness of the previous but lost built environment. I am looking forward to sharing research methods and discussing how you have approached and researched the above issues. It would be fascinating to find a common ground of interest and continue to collaborate, for example, on writing joint articles. So, I hope this will not be just a visit but starting something new. I also wish to visit local villages under the guidance of researchers or students and learn about local cultures. I enjoy hiking in nature, hopefully I will find someone to guide me in this too!