The Bartlett School of Architecture


Elin Söderberg

Image: 'Assembly Hall interior at the Tingskog', Elin Söderberg, 2022


Tingskog - A Proposal to Reforest the Contemporary Architectural Imagination of Things

First and second supervisors


We live in an era of unprecedented environmental change, motivating equally unprecedented actions to combat its consequences. Speculating on a reforestation of the contemporary architectural imagination, the central aim and objective of this research is to develop an alternative radical architectural response to how the discipline should engage in efforts to restore the boreal forest ecosystems in Sweden.

An investigation of how the forest as physical, legal and socioecological landscapes has served as a stimulus for the Swedish imaginations will be interwoven with a critical re-examination of practices of building with timber. As a primary case study and site for a design-led inquiry, the research is centred at Oppigården; a 1873 timber building located within the Hälsingland landskap province. In the first part of the study the relation between its construction method, the forest and the judicially founded assembly of the Scandinavian ting is examined through historical research, measured surveys and photographic documentation. Through building restoration and speculative design studies, the contemporary relevance of Oppigården’s historical construction is thereafter interrogated through a proposal for a new architectural assembly that aims to evoke the material, spatial and structural qualities of the Swedish forests. 

While timber buildings in Sweden have long been used by professionals within the fields of building restoration as sources of historical knowledge into human practice, the creative agency and co-authorship of the forest within their design has rarely been considered. Moreover, the interrelationship between forest, timber construction and the ting is not well-explored. This opens up for new perspectives and avenues of inquiry within architectural discourse. As such, this study provides an alternative way of looking at the history of timber construction technologies in Sweden and contributes new relational and ecologically conscious approaches to contemporary architectural design.


Born in Stockholm, Elin Söderberg is a registered architect based between London and northern Sweden. With a keen interest in the Swedish woodlands, her work seeks to explore the historical interrelationship between landscape, architecture and ecological understandings of matter.

Elin holds a Master of Architecture (MArch) and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architecture from The Bartlett School of Architecture where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Architectural Design, funded by the UCL Graduate Research Scholarship. Working across practice and research, her doctoral research draws on her previous experience as a London-based architect alongside her ongoing project restoring a timber building from 1873 located in a rural village in Hälsingland, Sweden.


  • UCL Graduate Research Scholarship


Image: 'Assembly Hall interior at the Tingskog', Elin Söderberg, 2022