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Albin: The teachers are awesome!

Albin Pettersson Bråthe is a ski enthusiast from Gothenburg who thrives well in Umeå. Soon he has completed his first year of studying in the five-year architectural programme and the best thing about studying architecture, he thinks, is freedom and that it is a very broad subject. Albin took the science programme in high school and spent a few years traveling and skiing, and worked as a ski guide in Canada and the United States.


Why did you apply for the Architecture programme in Umeå?
“After high school, I was long into studying to be an engineer because I always had an easy time with math and physics. But during the years that I traveled and met lots of people from different places, I got the realization that I want the opportunity to be creative in what I do. Then I opened my eyes to architecture that has a good balance between technology and creativity. I ended up in Umeå because I heard good things about the city from friends I got to know through skiing who either studied here or who come from here.”

Is the teaching different from high school studies?
“The education is very different from high school studies, I would say. Having your own desk in the studio makes it feel more like going to work than going to school, which I find motivating and fun. And then everything is very free, since we basically always work in slightly longer projects, it is up to you how you want to set it up and dispose of your time. The class works very well and we encourage and inspire each other a lot.”

Which courses and which parts do you like?
“In both synthesis and technology, there is often an opportunity to build models, it's fun! We have also had a couple of shorter intensive workshops that have been really interesting, you are surprised at how much we can manage in a fairly short time. Theory is also exciting where we reflect on different views of architecture and how it works in society and affects us.”

What do you think of the teachers at the school?
They are awesome! I think they always have good input so you can move on if, for example, you are stuck in a process. You really notice that the whole set-up of a course with all the elements is very well thought out. It is also very inspiring with such mixed nationalities in the teaching staff with teaching architects from Greece, Latvia, Holland, Italy, Spain, Venezuela and so on.”

What plans do you have for the future?
“The next two years I will stay here in Umeå. Then I get to see if I take a break and try to work at an architectural firm or if I want to study the master’s directly. If it will be here in Umeå or elsewhere in Sweden, or maybe abroad, I will see then.”

Where does your interest in architecture come from?
“Who is not fascinated by cool buildings? However, I have not always been so into it, the interest has crept in. I discover new branches all the time and am constantly impressed: reusing and building with unconventional materials and gadgets is always cool.”

Who is your favorite architect and why?
“Hard to say one, rather like parts of different architects. It's a bit exciting how Zaha Hadid took the turns in a futuristic way but also how Shigeru Ban pushes the boundaries of organic materials through structures.”

Read more about the Architecture programme

ABOUT Albin Pettersson Bråthe

Comes from: Mölnlycke outside Gothenburg.
Age: 25.
Umeå in three words: UMA - IKSU - ICA.
Unexpected talent: Eye measures your height by 2 centimeters margin of error.
Likes: Coffee.
Currently reading: "1Q84. The third book" by Haruki Murakami.
Listens to: My spotify playlist (Put a light on).
Does on a day off: Books the next ski trip.


Interview: Ingrid Söderbergh