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The creators behind Huussi – Introducing The Dry Collective

A group of people dressed in dark clothes, standing side by side on a litter tray.

Pertti Nisonen / Archinfo

The Dry Collective realises this year’s exhibition in the Pavilion of Finland at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition. Huussi – Imagining the future history of sanitation declares the end of the flushing toilet and invites us to envision new water-saving and nutrient-recycling sanitation solutions.

Huussi – Imagining the future history of sanitation will open in May in the Pavilion of Finland at the Biennale Architettura 2023. The exhibition idea started to sprout when architect and visual artist Arja Renell visited the Biennale Arte in the spring of 2022 and noticed the area’s long toilet lines. She also heard about the toilets being emptied into the canal. Renell then thought that dry toilets would be an essential addition to the Giardini venue.

The open call, organised by Archinfo, for the next Biennale Architettura was just about to end, when Renell came up with the idea of Huussi. In a tight schedule, she decided to make an exhibition proposal and asked her architect friend, Barbara Motta, who lives in Udine near Venice, and her architect husband Eero Renell to join her. Their proposal was selected for the second round of the open call, this is when Renell invited the architects Emmi Keskisarja and Janne Teräsvirta and Antero Jokinen, a graphic designer and a visual storyteller, to join the creative team.

The panel chose the exhibition concept, developed by Arja Renell and the working group, as the winning entry to be implemented in the Finnish pavilion – The Dry Collective was born.

The Dry Collective (from the left): Arja Renell, Barbara Motta, Eero Renell, Emmi Keskisarja, Janne Teräsvirta and Antero Jokinen. photos: Pertti Nisonen / Archinfo
Arja Renell

Arja Renell has studied urban planning at the Bartlett, University College London (UCL) and architecture at the Oulu University and also graduated as a Master of Arts from the Aalto University. At the center of her artistic and design work are ecological and the environmental issues, which she investigates through place-specific projects. Renell's work typically involves various research and voluntary organisations, and the implementation of the Huussi exhibition was no exception, partners from several different organisations are involved. Creating space for dialogue, is also something Renell likes to include in her work. In fact, the exhibition she has curated for the Finnish pavilion, aims to inspire architects and other experts to jointly envision and discuss future solutions.

Barbara Motta

Barbara Motta met Renell at the Bartlett, UCL during their studies. She is originally from the city of Udine, near Venice. After graduating as an architect and for a couple of year’s working in Barcelona, Barbara started working in her hometown as an independent architect on public projects and urban planning. Nowadays, she shares an office with her architect sister Marilena Motta. The multidisciplinary Studio A2R focuses on architectural design, urban planning, as well as mobility projects and traffic moderation and promotes accessibility of public spaces, construction site management and safety.

Eero Renell

Eero Renell is the co-owner of a Helsinki-based architecture firm von Boehm – Renell Architects Ltd. He was born in Kälviä and graduated as an architect from the Oulu University. Renell's professional experience and interest lies in large scale public projects, particularly in schools and learning environment design. He sees and seeks potential in the public processes and projects as an essential part of a better future. Eero has also gained a degree in architectural restoration at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Emmi Keskisarja

The Dry Collective also includes Emmi Keskisarja and Janne Teräsvirta, the founders of the Helsinki-based &' architectural office. Before founding the joint office, Keskisarja, has worked within her own office and at universities globally. Her work focuses on design research, which ranges from individual material experiments to urban research. Emmi's architectural expression is informed by sensitivity to movement and space, which she attributes in part to her love of dancing Argentine tango.

Janne Teräsvirta

Janne Teräsvirta, in addition to the architectural office he runs with Emmi, has co-founded several architecture firms along various partners, and his projects with different teams have gained recognition worldwide. He views the architect's work as a pursuit of beauty, driven by fairness, openness and equality. Teräsvirta has been invited to lecture at several European, Asian and American schools of architecture.

Antero Jokinen

Last but not least, the working group includes a multidisciplinary designer from Helsinki, Antero Jokinen. His main areas of expertise are visual design, concept creation and storytelling, and he has gained a reputation for his design work, branding and creative projects. Jokinen is one of the founders of the Helsinki-based design and advertising agency 358, and he has served as the chairman of the board of Grafia ry. Today, the designer of visual communication also writes scripts for short films and curates art exhibitions.

The Dry Collective: Eero Renell, Janne Teräsvirta and Emmi Keskisarja in the back and Barbara Motta, Arja Renell and Antero Jokinen in the front. photo: Pertti Nisonen / Archinfo

Huussi – Imagining the future history of Sanitation can be seen in the Pavilion of Finland at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition. Huussi is open to the public from 20 May to 26 November 2023. The Dry Collective's exhibition, curated by Arja Renell, reevaluates our sanitation system at a time when the sufficiency of drinking water and food production is a global problem. You can meet the creators of the exhibition, not only in Venice during the opening of the Finnish pavilion on May 18, but also online when the Venice warm up is held in Finland on May 9. More information about the events will be published on the Archinfo website through this link.

The main funder of the exhibition is the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland. The implementation of the exhibition and the work of The Dry Collective have also been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and a large number of other partners.

Read more about the exhibiton.