Architects, not Architecture: Kjetil Thorsen from Snøhetta

Architects, not Architecture decided to open their archive to help us cope with the current situation of not being able to go out as usual and create a source of inspiration and entertainment through sharing one of the unique talks from their previous 35 events, which have never been published before – including those of architects like Daniel Libeskind, Peter Cook, Richard Rogers, Massimiliano Fuksas, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Tatiana Bilbao, Benedetta Tagliabue, Mario Botta, Anupama Kundoo, and Sadie Morgan.

Every week, Archdaily will be sharing one of the Architects, not Architecture. talks which they are currently publishing online in the form of daily full-length video uploads as part of their “new event”: Home Edition 2020

Archdaily’s pick for this week: Kjetil Thorsen

The Norwegian architect and co-founder of the internationally known architectural practice, Snøhetta, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen shines a light on his background. By showing how the different people he has met and the many places he has lived in made him become the architect he is today, he gives us more than just a glimpse into his personal life and biography.

Thorsen participated as a speaker among two other architects in the first AnA-event in Norway in 2018 where he leads one of the many Snøhetta offices that are scattered around the globe, the office in Oslo. The studio has completed a diverse range of international prize-winning projects, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the National Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City.

Enjoy this week’s videos and make sure to stick around to not miss any upcoming talks. For their daily videos, visit:

About Architects, not Architecture

Founded in Hamburg in 2015, Architects, not Architecture. aims to bring to the stage what usually goes unseen. For each event they invite three well-known architects, who instead of talking about their award-winning international projects, are asked to talk about themselves. They speak about their path, their influences and experiences, and dive deeper into their intellectual biography. This enables a better understanding of their work, without them even mentioning it.

Most of us find it difficult to speak about the relevant experiences and the impact they had on us. But isn’t it the encounters, the unique experiences, the harsh times, the wild years at university, that one friend, teacher or family member that shaped our values and thus the person we are today? And isn’t it these values that influence how and what we create?

At least this is what Architects, not Architecture. (AnA) believes, which is why they created the event format that has expanded to multiple European cities over the past five years. Each architect is asked to talk about themselves and their individual path without mentioning their work. It is admittedly hard to do so in front of hundreds of unfamiliar faces when you are only used to talking about architecture in such a setting. 

We are used to seeing talks about their work, now we will have the opportunity to get to know their architecture from a very different and personal perspective.

About this author
Cite: Diego Hernández. "Architects, not Architecture: Kjetil Thorsen from Snøhetta" 20 May 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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