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After Belonging

With a stranger sleeping on your couch; inside the boxes at the storage facility; surrounded by the information you share in the cloud; after clearing customs at the airport; where your passport allows you to reside. Being at home entails different definitions nowadays, both within domestic settings and in the spaces defined by national boundaries under contemporary regimes of circulation.

The 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale designs the objects, spaces, and territories for a transforming condition of belonging. Global circulation of people, information, and goods has destabilized what we understand by residence, questioning spatial permanence, property, and identity—a crisis of belonging. Circulation brings greater accessibility to ever-new commodities and further geographies. But, simultaneously, circulation also promotes growing inequalities for large groups, kept in precarious states of transit. After Belonging examines both our attachment to places and collectivities—Where do we belong?—as well as our relation to the objects we own, share, and exchange—How do we manage our belongings?

The Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 is divided into two parts:

--- A triennale On Residence, in which to collectively analyze the spatial conditions that shape our ways of staying in transit and the definition of our contemporary spaces of residence.

--- A triennale In Residence, in which international architects and professionals concerned with the built environment will engage in local collaborations in Oslo, the Nordic region, and around the globe, to intervene in the transformation of residence.

How can different agents involved in the built environment address the ways we stay in transit? How can architects intervene in the reconfiguration of the contemporary residence?

On Residence

On Residence is one of the two parts of the Triennale. It dissects the architectures entangled in the contemporary reconfiguration of belonging, documenting the ways in which these architectures redefine residence, and the spatial, aesthetic, technical, and sociopolitical implications of this redefinition. This investigation is pursued through an accumulation of evidence unveiling the multiple scales and media involved in these architectures, including documents, objects, projects, and built interventions. It will consider, for example, the relation of architecture to current pressing questions like refugeeism, migration and homelessness; new mediated forms of domesticity and foreignness; environmental displacements; tourism and the contemporary technologies and economies of sharing, among others.

On Residence is structured around five areas: Technologies of a Life in Transit, Furnishing After Belonging, Markets and Territories of the Global Home, Borders Elsewhere, and Sheltering Temporariness. The On Residence program will be explored through the exhibition After Belonging: On Residence at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture DOGA, a conference, and a publication released for the Triennale’s opening.

In Residence

In Residence is one of the two parts of the Triennale. It speculates on architectural intervention strategies at a selection of sites—in Oslo, the Nordic region and around the globe—that are understood to encapsulate the contemporary transformation of belonging.

The sites in Oslo and the Nordic region include: an apartment in Copenhagen rented through digital sharing platforms; a worker’s residence in Kirkenes, in the Arctic Region, on the Norwegian border with Russia; a transnational neighborhood that forms part of the Million Housing Programme on the outskirts of Stockholm; an asylum seekers’ reception center in Oslo; and the border spaces, technologies, and transit areas of the Oslo Airport in Gardermoen. The five global case studies include: a personal cubicle in a self storage facility in New York City; a house resulting from the remittances sent to the coffee growing region of Colombia; a patient room in the Dubai Health Care City; the technological spaces linking religious communities in Lagos; and an Italian textile factory in one of the biggest Chinatowns in Europe. Read more about the sites here.

Reports about these sites have been commissioned from a group of international architects, artists, journalists, and other professionals. The commission for these reports is intended to challenge ideas of ‘site’ solely concerned with geometric boundaries and contextual references. Sites are instead considered as unstable nodes submitted to ongoing alterations and redefinitions.

The Intervention Strategies for the sites located in Oslo and the Nordic region have been selected through an International Call for Intervention Strategies. Interventions speculate on the architectures associated to the particularities of each site, and can range from spatial strategies, typological variations, and material prototypes to digital platforms and legal propositions, among many others. They are being developed as built structures, 1:1 tests, scale models, and representations for public debate. With the ambition of questioning contemporary modes of practice, the work protocols are as important as the outcome of the interventions.

The commissioned reports and the selected interventions will be displayed at the After Belonging: In Residence exhibition in the National Museum - Architecture in Oslo. They will also be discussed during public events throughout the Triennale, and included in a publication to be released in 2017.

The Embassy: New World Embassy: Rojava

The New World Embassy: Rojava is a stateless embassy that represents, through cultural means, the ideals of “stateless democracy” developed by Kurdish communities of the autonomous region of Rojava, northern-Syria. The embassy is conceived and designed by Studio Jonas Staal in collaboration with the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava, and takes the form of a temporary installation in Oslo.

Through assemblies and public debate it will present the cultural and political ideals of this new autonomous region. The aim of the project is to rethink non-state models of political representation through art, as well as to engage a large public in the unique cultural and political ideals being developed in this war-torn region.

The project is financed and co-produced by KORO – Public Art Norway / URO.


See a recording of the event here:

The Academy

The Academy is a Forum organized by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design AHO. It will bring schools from around the world to enter in a global dialogue and knowledge-sharing experiment, reflecting on issues related to the topics explored in the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016: After Belonging, including new forms of residence, contemporary states of transit, and the ways in which architecture and design are responding to new forms of belonging and belongings.

The Academy will include a full program of events, such as workshops, roundtables, and lectures among others. It will operate in three phases—an analytical phase, a critical phase, and a production phase—which will be distributed over a period of eight days. The aim is to produce a collective project—be it an ephemeral structure, a performance, a publication, an action, an exhibition, or a combination of many of those things.

The Academy projects the concerns of the Triennale into the future by introducing long-lasting academic conversations, and collaborations between multiple universities around the world, which will hopefully have an impact in architectural education and practices. The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), one of the six founding members of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, offers a unique research-based education of international standing. Established in 1945, it has built a solid national funding base and is prominently ranked internationally. In its education, the school follows a studio-based model with a faculty-to-student ratio that encourages individual development and collaboration. The school has approximately 650 students and awards three Master’s degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design, as well as a PhD program.

The Academy is a forum organized by the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 in collaboration with the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), and led by a team comprising: Assistant Professor and Project Manager: Léa-Catherine Szacka Professor: Gro Bonesmo Head of Institute of Form, Theory and History: Erik Fenstad Langdalen Head of Institute of Urbanism and Landscape: Marianne Skjulhaug Assistants: Ragnhild Havåg, Christiana Pitsillidou

PARTICIPANTS:

The publication: After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit

The publication After Belonging investigates the objects, spaces, and territories of our transforming condition of belonging. Global circulation of people, information, and goods has destabilized what we understand by residence, questioning spatial permanence, property, and identity—a crisis of belonging. Circulation brings greater accessibility to ever-new commodities and further geographies. But, simultaneously, circulation also promotes growing inequalities for large groups, kept in precarious states of transit. Together with contributions by the participants of the On Residence exhibition and the In Residence program, the book features articles by: Arjun Appadurai; Cristina López Uribe; Deane Simpson; Didier Fassin; Felicity D. Scott; Hu Fang; Ijlal Muzaffar; Iver Neumann; James D. Graham; Jeffrey Schnapp; Jesse LeCavalier; John Harwood; Keller Easterling; Louise Amoore; Lorenzo Pezzani+Charles Heller; Mabel Wilson; Merve Bedir; Michel Feher; Pamela Karimi; Thomas Hylland Eriksen; Thomas Keenan; Troy Conrad Therrien. Edited by Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio G. Galán, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrete Llopis, Marina Otero Verzier. Designed by This is Our Work. Published by Lars Müller Publishers. The book will be launched during the opening weekend of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016.

The Conference

What is architecture’s role in the contemporary reconfiguration of belonging? How has this process transformed the notion of residence? What are the spatial, technical, and sociopolitical consequences of this transformation? The After Belonging Conference takes place at the Oslo Opera House on September 9, 2016; 9:00 – 16.00. This Conference will bring together architects, thinkers, decision-makers, and local experts in order to dissect the architectures entangled in the contemporary reconfiguration of belonging. Among other topics, it will address architecture’s relation to current pressing questions such as refugeeism, migration and homelessness; new mediated forms of domesticity and foreignness; environmental displacements; tourism; and the technologies and economies of sharing.

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