Scandinavia is great, but other places are too. If you have a project located in that part of the world and need young, hip people doing interesting things for your renderings, head on over to Skalgubbar. If you're working in South or Central America, check out the entourage at Escala Latina or Skalgubbrasil.

NONSCANDINAVIA is an open-source project for students working in the rest of the world.

We believe that renderings reflect our aspirations as student architects, and that our decisions about representation matter. Renderings should reflect the people in and around the site, and should project a future that values diversity and acceptance of all people. The goal of NONSCANDINAVIA is to give architecture students access to a database of free, high-res, PNG images that reflect diversity in all its forms. 

You can participate in three ways. First, use these images in your student work. Share them, spread them around, tell your friends. Second, get involved by submitting your own images. You can do so on the submit page, or by emailing nonscandinavia@gmail.com. Third, check out the discussion page or hit us up on twitter at @NONSCANDINAVIA to let us know how you think we can grow and improve this project.

NONSCANDINAVIA was founded by A-Frame, an independent group of students from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Our mission is to build a space for students to engage collectively and critically with the social, economic, and political issues that frame the fields of architecture and development. Get involved at www.a-frame.work


NONSCANDINAVIA is an attempt to increase diversity in architectural representation through the provision of free, high-res, cut out people of all kinds. Most of these images have not been licensed for commercial use, and depict everyday people, not models. This website and the contents therein are intended only for educational use, to increase dialogue and awareness of diversity in architectural curriculum, and may not be legally used for commercial work of any kind without the consent of their rightful owners and permission from those depicted. No money is being made off of this site. If you or someone you know is represented here and you would rather not be, or for any other questions or complaints, contact nonscandinavia@gmail.com.


Where do these images come from?

We pull images from all sorts of places. As a result, we don't have license to use many of the images for professional purposes. These images are intended for educational, personal, and otherwise non-commercial use. Join in by sending us images you've cropped for use in your own renderings.

Are you ever going to have images for commercial use? 

One of the long-term goals of the site is to accumulate public domain images and those listed under creative commons licenses, and ultimately to begin to generate our own images through community photoshoots and user submission. These will be tagged as such so they will be searchable from within the main database, and assembled into their own gallery. We'll let you know if and when we launch that initiative.

How to you choose what images to post?

Rule number 1: no stock photos; we want real people doing their thing. Rule number 2: represent the underrepresented. The goal is to maintain a parity of representation that corresponds to the real world and the places in which we're designing. If you feel there's a demographic missing, let us know, or better yet submit your own images to make it right.

How do you decide how to tag images?

As a project looking to challenge certain stereotypes of appearance, deciding what terms to use to tag people is one of the most difficult and controversial aspects of this site. Check out the discussion page for an explanation of our process and the thoughts behind it, and to give us feedback on how we can improve.


Kaleidoscope: A collection of images that challenges the dominance of gendernormativity, ableism and race-blindness in architectural drawings by diversifying the population of represented peoples in renderings.

Just Not The Same: A digital catalog comprised of the misrepresented and the under-acknowledged, the otherized populations that are so absent in traditional design imagery. 

Cut Out Life: A collection of images cataloged according to country of origin.

Mr. Cutout: A good image collection with a diverse range of people, and a free daily MB limit, past which you need to pay.

Diaz Paunetto Arquitectos: High-res, in-house entourage freely available for commercial use, but not dissemination. 

Juan Carlos Ramos: A small, but high-res collection of diverse people.

SketchUp Texture: Lots of free cutout packages based loosely around geography; pretty "stock" looking people, but a large selection.