Alumni portrait - Aleksander Oldrup Jensen - NTNU Alumni
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Aleksander Oldrup Jensen
Aleksander Oldrup Jensen
Position: Architect and partner in LPO architects
Education: Master of Architecture NTNU
- We have to dare to have an opinion
Architect Aleksander Oldrup Jensen loves being an architect, precisely because he can contribute to solving important challenges in society. Then he encourages everyone to draw when they come up with new ideas - even if they think they can't.
Aleksander Oldrup Jensen works as a planner and architect in the architectural firm LPO Architects in Oslo, where he is also a partner.
- I am relatively young in the game to be a partner in an architectural firm, but it has to do with the flat, social democratic model in the office where young people get to the possibility to succeed. You don't necessarily have to be a genius; Jensen says with a smile during a Teams meeting.
Learned the art of teamwork
Jensen graduated as an architect from NTNU in 2014.
- What is the most valuable lesson you learned at NTNU?
- To collaborate with others. Architectural studies must be one of the most amusing studies because it’s project-based, and therefore prepares the student for what they will meet in working life. It was useful to work towards the same goal with others who may have different views on things.
Two other fellow students also started at LPO architects at the same time. He was encouraged to apply there by a former scientific assistant from NTNU.
- What does networking mean to you?
- I got the job because of contacts so networking is clearly important. But, I believe that the best contacts are not the ones you get by working consciously and strategically for it, but something you create by being social and involved.
Had to memorise in Delft
He didn’t just stay in Trondheim during his studies, he had a shorter exchange stay in India, at the University of Delft.
- Delft scores high on the architectural ranking and it was very educational and exciting to study there. But the study program was more traditional, it involved more memorising and more independent work. I think the more project-based teaching at NTNU works better and that they are ahead of their time.
- What are the most interesting challenges you are working on currently?
- I am mostly working on a urban development project in Lilleaker-town by Lysaker. It has the potential to become a very nice urban area, with housing and green areas that will work well into the future, says Jensen.
He says that he likes working on creating good living environments that respond to the challenges we have in relation to climate and the environment, may it be a block in his hometown of Skien or a major development project in Oslo.
Jensen is a member of the National Board of the Association of Norwegian Architets (NAL). This was also an opportunity that arose through connections he had from NTNU
- The architectural discipline is actually a very political, we have to dare to have opinions, says Jensen.
He is incredibly passionate about the social aspect and says repeatedly that he believes things are going too slow when it comes to facing the challenges with the climate and the environment. He believes the crisis packages from the state following Covid-19 should have been distributed differently with an emphasis on the so-called ‘green shift’. Also, the housing policy should definitely be more social.
- How can we create the best opportunities for various different groups of house buyers in Oslo and how can we develop solid financing models? I am super excited to think that we as architects have the opportunity to work on such issues as well, says Jensen.
In larger projects, they collaborate with many professional groups, from highway engineers to social anthropologists. There are two things he encourages those he works with to do. One is to dare to be clear on what visions they have for the complete project. It may seem that we sometimes forget that all subjects are closely related and that even though we have a common goal for a "good" project, we may measure this differently.
The second is to dare to draw.
- I cannot say I'm good at drawing myself, but this is not about drawing well. It's about being able to convey an idea and discuss it. There is a great opportunity to dare to do so, and I often find that this is important for the progress of the projects.