Under Construction, work exhibited in Oslo Architecture Triennale, group show at National Museum of Architecture, Oslo
Other - Exhibition, 2019
Under Construction imagines a city that is constantly being rebuilt using the same stock of materials. Exhibited at the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, themed The Architecture of Degrowth, the project takes the form of a large model, constructed from materials found in demolition sites in Stockholm.
Reuse of building materials is not just a problem of logistics and material flows. It is as much a cultural and architectural problem. One of the most persistent architectural conventions is to consider abstract space before objects and materials. Building elements and furnishings should be subservient to a larger whole. This approach is aligned with a view on the world that is inherited from industrialism, in which any materials could be sourced anew and moulded into shape indefinitely. Reuse, as a conceptual approach to architecture, is different in that the starting point is a specific and limited stock of elements and chunks of materials. Each piece of material comes with a set of qualities – a character – that may be amplified, subverted or altered. In addition, depending on the relation between the context of the original structure and the new structure, reused objects may be charged with different cultural value and meaning.
Curatorial statement by Interrobang:
For the last two centuries, the engine of architectural production and the basis of societies around the world has been the pursuit of economic growth. The desire for infinite growth has forced aside common and ecological goals measuring acts of culture and community as mere bumps in GDP. Yet the limits to this paradigm have become abundantly clear. As equity, wellbeing and non-monetary measures of prosperity falter, rising sea temperatures, extreme weather and other indicators of climate breakdown converge on the conclusion that the days of growth’s predominance are running out.
Architecture is no exception. The promise of a meaningful life’s work harnessing the transformative power of design to mix beauty and social justice is deeply felt. Yet for many, our daily practice looks very different to the work we aspired to. The majority of urban practitioners are not the agents of social change they might have been, but cogs in a vast value-producing machine whose hunger for expansion is never abated. Homes have become vehicles of capital speculation, galleries have become billboards for attracting investment, streets have become the infrastructure of consumption, universities export enlightenment for profit.
In our bones we know that infinite economic growth is impossible. We know that money cannot buy happiness. We know that change is coming. Yet our professions continue to toil at the coalface of economic expansion cultivating consumption in pursuit of a prize that is never enough.
ENOUGH responds to an era of climate emergency and social inequality by proposing alternatives to the unsustainable and unfair paradigm of growth. The festival 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.