London practice Interrobang, which is curating the Oslo Architecture Triennale, has launched an open international call for a series of futuristic interventions for the event (Deadline: 19 November)
Individuals and multidisciplinary teams are invited to submit ‘exhibitive, performative and physical’ proposals to occupy the interior of the Norwegian capital’s National Museum of Architecture during the 10-week architecture festival which starts next September.
Submissions must promote human and ecological wellbeing and respond to the triennale’s theme of ‘degrowth’. The winning schemes will be installed next August, transforming the venue into a ‘library of architectural futures’.
Grand Tour: In Search of Soane (after Gandy) 2012 by Emily Allchurch
According to the brief: ‘The festival will explore the buildings, spaces and institutions of a new culture in which economic growth is no longer the basis of societies. The curators have launched this open call inviting architects, urban practitioners, activists, novelists, artists, researchers and citizens to explore the architecture of a new economy in which human and ecological flourishing matter most – the architecture of degrowth.
‘During the 10-week programme of the triennale, Oslo’s National Museum of Architecture will undergo a transformation from a gallery of architecture past and present to a library of architectural futures. The triennale library will comprise artefacts and installations exploring the architecture of degrowth from multiple perspectives. Drawings, models, materials, artefacts, devices and ideas will be collected and catalogued, and some made available to library members to borrow and use.’
Emerging practice Interrobang was selected to curate the 2019 triennale in December last year. The team – also featuring Architecture Foundation deputy director Phineas Harper and Norwegian researcher, lecturer and artist Cecilie Sachs Olsen – was chosen over 71 rival bids with its proposal to investigate the ‘potential architecture of degrowth’.
The contest aims to identify a ‘repository of useful and beautiful objects’ to occupy Oslo’s city centre National Museum of Architecture. Proposals will be expected to challenge our contemporary ‘growth paradigm’ and ‘investigate the architecture of alternatives’.
Applications should include a single PDF featuring images and text. The winning teams will be notified in December and will work with the curators to finalise their proposals by early next year. Oslo Architecture Triennale opens on 29 September next year and runs until 19 November.
Pictured above: Grand Tour: In Search of Soane (after Gandy) 2012 by Emily Allchurch, intended to evoke how the museum might look during the event.
How to apply
The deadline for applications is 1pm Norwegian time, 19 November
Visit the competition website for more information
Q&A with Phineas Harper
The co-curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale discusses his ambitions for the competition
Why are your holding an open call for contributions to the Oslo Architecture Triennale?
With the 2019 Oslo Triennale we are challenging the supremacy of economic growth as the basis of contemporary society, and testing the architecture of alternatives. That’s a huge question: could a society without growth not only support but radically enrich the lives of its citizens?
In the wake of the IPCC report and numerous other warning signs, a clear link has emerged between economic growth and global warming. Thinkers around the world are now asking how, in the near future, society can make a fundamental shift away from ever-increasing GDP, to an economy in which human and ecological flourishing matter most – a degrowth economy.
Alongside this call, as curators, we are commissioning a mix of contributors from various disciplines but degrowth is a hugely diverse movement flourishing around the world and we recognise our networks only stretch so far. We hope to use this open call as an invitation and challenge to architects and other practitioners everywhere to think courageously about their work in a rapidly changing world and propose bold contributions.
What is your vision for how Oslo’s National Museum of Architecture will be transformed?
The Oslo Triennale will spread between multiple venues in the city and the civic tissue between them. Oslo’s National Museum of Architecture, including its stunning main pavilion originally devised by Sverre Fehn, will morph into an immersive architecture library comprise artefacts and installations exploring the architecture of degrowth from multiple perspectives. Drawings, models, devices and ideas will be collected and catalogued, and some made available to library members to borrow and use.
Main pavilion by Sverre Fehn at Oslo’s National Museum of Architecture
Lendable items might be those which empower citizens to engage more deeply with creating and experiencing architecture. Tools for making or seeing, deployable structures for community gatherings, access to printers, looms or drones. Or those which, like books, take time to consider: cultural artefacts and material samples for example.
Other contributions, some specially commissioned, others presenting existing work, will form a curated reference collection of speculations and exemplars for the architecture of the new economy. These could be presented through installations, film, inhabitable spaces, specialist machines and pop-up workshops.
What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?
The call is open to practitioners of all backgrounds including novelists, economists and activists as well as architects and designers. Degrowth is a many-faceted movement so, as curators, we are particularly interested in interdisciplinary teams and fruitful pairings of designers with other disciplines. We are above all seeking contributors who feel in their bones the stressful, stifling shortfallings of society’s growth obsession and are eager to imagine the potential of alternatives.
Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?
The library is far from the only component of the triennale but it is a core strand – the de facto front door of the festival and a site of curatorial intensity. Other elements include theatre spaces, smaller exhibitions, projects in public space and performances.