Spirit of Paimio Conference

9th and 10th October, 2024

This year’s Spirit of Paimio conference will be all about the power of people and togetherness. Under the theme Reimagining Communities, the conference brings together leading minds from different creative fields to discuss how Alvar and Aino Aalto’s ideas behind the landmark Paimio Sanatorium – infusing architecture with empathy, community and scientific inquiry – can inform and enhance our present day societies.

Spirit of Paimio is thrilled to welcome Beatriz Colomina, Bjarke Ingels, Carlo Ratti, Ersilia Vaudo, Octave Perrault, Spencer Bailey and Studio Swine as the first keynote speakers.

On October 9-10, the second annual Spirit of Paimio Conference will gather speakers and guests in Paimio, Finland, for two days filled with inspiring keynotes, talks and round-table discussions on the future of architecture, cities, societies and wellbeing.

With the iconic sanatorium by Alvar and Aino Aalto as a starting point and backdrop, curator Joseph Grima, known for his design practice Space Caviar, and Mirkku Kullberg, CEO of the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation, have put together a programme around the theme Reimagining Community.

The conversation will take as its starting point the following statement by Alvar Aalto:

“Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.”

The idea of “togetherness” is a thread running throughout much of the Aaltos’ work, and, read from a contemporary perspective, resonates with the practice of community-building through design. Despite being an early work, Paimio Sanatorium represents one of the most ambitious endeavours in this direction by the Aalto studio – or any other, for that matter – and it is for this reason that will form the basis for Spirit of Paimio 2024 edition.


This year’s conference will feature a host of high-profile speakers.

The lineup of keynote speakers, handpicked for their expertise and innovative approach, includes the following names:

Beatriz Colomina
A renowned historian of modern architecture from Princeton University, whose work bridges architecture with media, gender and sociology.

Bjarke Ingels
The founding partner of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Ingels is known for his innovative design approach and defines architecture as “the art and science of making sure our cities and buildings fit the way we want to live our lives”.

Carlo Ratti 
Carlo Ratti is an influential Italian architect, engineer, and director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT. He is the director of the 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Ersilia Vaudo
Astrophysicist and Chief Diversity Officer at the European Space Agency, Vaudo’s insights merge science with design, offering a unique perspective on architecture.

Octave Perrault
CEO of Zeroth, a company founded by himself, Perrault focuses on sustainable energy solutions and self-sufficient buildings, vital for the future of architecture and urban planning.

Spencer Bailey 
Spencer Bailey is an acclaimed writer, editor, and co-founder of the media company The Slowdown.

Studio Swine
Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) is an artistic collaboration between Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami. The studio combines art, design, and filmmaking to create works that explore the future of resources, craft, and sustainability.

More speakers will be announced soon.


Tickets for the Spirit of Paimio Conference 2024 are now available.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale until June 30th.

Spirit of Paimio Conference 2023

The 2023 Spirit of Paimio conference was held at Paimio Sanatorium on October 16, 2023. The conferenced focused on the theme of caring architecture. Among the speakers were Juhani Pallasmaa, Lyndon Neri, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Beatrice Galilee, Susanna Pettersson, Otto Lowe, and Kieran Long.

Do you want to get in the mood before this years event? Listen to our podcast, where you can find discussions from last year’s Spirit of Paimio conference.


More than just a building, Paimio Sanatorium has become seen as a world-renowned masterpiece of modern architecture. Subscribe our Newsletter and be first to learn more about Paimio Sanatorium’s events and exhibitions.

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