CAA - Contemporary Art Archipelago

Territorial Agency


John Palmesino (b. 1970 in Switzerland) and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (b. 1976 in Finland) live and work in London.

Architects and urbanists John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog founded Territorial Agency in 2007. It is an independent organisation that innovatively promotes and works for sustainable and integrated territorial transformations. Their practice combines architecture, analysis, advocacy and action, and often brings together multiple stakeholders from international organisations, to local, national governments and private actors.

Territorial Agency is currently leading a large research on the transformations of the coasts of Europe at the AA Architectural Association in London. The project combines architecture and urbanism to investigate the current state of affairs in a number of territories wrought by globalisation and shaped by the multiplication of contemporary polities in the liminal space of the European peninsula.

Amongst their projects is NORTH, a multidisciplinary research into the shifting geopolitical conditions of the Arctic and Subarctic regions, which focuses on the relation between political, spatial and territorial dimensions of the changing environments in the High North. Territorial Agency has further designed, for example, the first integrated vision of the Markermeer addressing the changing dynamics of the Netherlands’ fifth largest polder and its surroundings.

Following their projects in e.g. the Swiss Alps, which in surprising ways resonate deeply with the geography of the islands, Territorial Agency has been commissioned by CAA to produce a new spatial mapping of Turku Archipelago deploying remote sensing. They are also continuing here their ongoing research into the territorial concept of the archipelago and the model this has offered for international peace keeping missions.

Palmesino is the initiator of the multidisciplinary research project on Neutrality as a modality of control and governance of contemporary space. He has co-founded Multiplicity, a research network that unites architects, artists, filmmakers, geographers and theorists. Multiplicity has addressed a number of controversial territorial transformations, from the high seas of the Mediterranean, to the uncertain conditions of contemporary European cities and to Palestine. Rönnskog has, amongst others, curated the mapping project Switzerland – An Urban Portrait. She has also earlier analysed the metropolitan region of Helsinki and curated the participation of ETH Studio Basel at the Venice Biennale.

Palmesino and Rönnskog are currently based at the Architectural Association in London. Palmesino is a research advisor at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht and also teaches and conducts his own research at the Research Architecture Centre, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Their work has been exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, at the Venice Biennale, at FriArt Fribourg and independently at documenta, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, at the Milano Triennale and at the CCA in Kitakyushu.

Fathoming Extraterritoriality: sensing the remote