Oslo Architecture Triennale OAT 2019 Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth


OAT / Istvan Virag,


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The Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, now in its 19th year, opened last week. Entitled Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth, it explores the architecture of a radically transformed society where cultural and ecological advancement matters more than economic growth.

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Oslo Architecture Triennale OAT 2019 Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth The word degrowth still triggers negative reactions more than 50 years from when the term was first coined. In German, the more commonly used term is “Post-Wachstum” which is more positive because it points to new horizons, opens up a future after growth where, it is hoped, human wellness can increase and the ecological and social equity conditions on the planet can be improved.
The theme of the 19th Oslo Architecture Triennale, Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth plays with the explosive power of this word to open up new debates into how much the pursuit of economic growth has damaged the environment and of the need to try out new solutions in architecture. Indeed, throughout the festival, the capital of Norway will be filled with more than 100 events, theatre performances, installations, exhibitions, walks, workshops and lectures examining the architecture of degrowth.
The chief curators of the Triennale - Matthew Dalziel, Phineas Harper, Cecilie Sachs Olsen and Maria Smith from the multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firm, Interobang had this to say: “We have seen a landmark year of seismic political events underscoring need for urgent radical action to halt global heating.  However, continuing to pursue a growth-based economy will lead to climate breakdown and entrench deep divides between those who have far too little, and those who have far too much. The Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 explores the architecture of Degrowth, an economy of shared plenty in which human and ecological flourishing matter most. It is time to call time on too much for the few and too little for the many. Join us as we propose a vision of enough for all.” The director of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, Hanna Dencik Petersson said: “This year the Triennale theme could not have been more timely and urgent.  I’m excited and proud to present an eight week-long diverse and important programme, that will question how architecture and city development can and should respond to the ongoing climate crisis.” 
To get their message across, the curators drew on the contribution of 140 teams, including architecture firms, economists, theatre-makers, science fiction writers and actors. Theatre and fiction are focal points of the programme of OAT and enable audiences to engage with the future of their cities. At the same time, they challenge the way architects and city planners communicate with the public.
In addition to the opening conference, the key events of OAT 2019, include The Library, which transforms the National Museum of Architecture into a library of architectural futures featuring works by over 80 teams. Place Listening, an immersive sound walk to help participants’ understanding of the city. Society under Construction by Rimini Protokoll, a performance at the National Theatre that takes the audience backstage on eight construction sites around the world.
Factory of the Future an installation using techniques from performance and future scenario thinking to examine the role of design and architecture plays in shaping sustainable economic, social and environmental values: just some of the many initiatives.
One thing is clear, the Oslo Architecture Triennale has established itself as a forum for disseminating and discussing architectural and urban challenges, engaging the general public and all-encompassing driving debate on architecture and urbanism in general and not just in the post-growth era.

Christiane Bürklein

OAT 2019. Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth,
Curated by Matthew Dalziel, Phineas Harper, Cecilie Sachs Olsen and Maria Smith 
from 26 September to 24 November 2019
Find out more: http://oslotriennale.no/en/aboutoat2019
Images: OAT / Istvan Virag


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