Chief Curators for OAT 2019

The transdisciplinary architecture and engineering practice Interrobang, with critic Phineas Harper and urban researcher Cecilie Sachs Olsen, will curate the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019. Their proposal Common Futures was selected among 71 submissions to an open Call for Curator.

Oat Teamshot 1 Square

The curatorial team comprises British architect and Interrobang founder, Maria Smith, Canadian architect and Interrobang Associate, Matthew Dalziel, British critic and think tank director, Phineas Harper and Norwegian urban researcher and artist, Cecilie Sachs Olsen.

Will investigate 'a potential architecture of degrowth'

The theme for OAT 2019 builds on the acknowledgement of a need to revise the pace and scale of extraction, production, consumption, development, and building that has driven the growth of industrialized societies and economies throughout the 20th century. «The proposal addresses a tendency which has been on the rise in the last decade. Degrowth is gaining ground in social and economic contexts, and it is time for architectural practice and discourse to position itself and consider the possible consequences for the profession. With this concept, the Triennale could be a platform to establish an understanding of a potential architecture of degrowth: defining it, questioning it and challenging both architects, architecture commissioners and decision makers to develop new strategies for building, planning, evolving and adapting our built environments based on non-growth development,» the Jury states.

‘A challenge for the city of Oslo’

The Jury believes the proposal has an interesting way of connecting to Oslo and the local context:

«The proposal can also be read as a challenge to the city of Oslo, to open itself up to the ideas and ideals of alternative ways of development and to explore its potential ramifications in what may be seen as a collective pursuit towards a more climate conscious local and global future.»

Download the full Jury Statement.

The curatorial team

The selected curatorial team has led numerous projects based on a shared interest in turning architectural discourse on its head with innovative formats operating at the intersection of architecture, art, politics and performance.

The team is committed to a holistic quest for innovation and new ways of thinking and practicing architecture, which takes form in various initiatives, such as initiating multi award-winning practices like Studio Weave, directing campaigning organisations like the Architecture Foundation, collaborating with and editing international design magazines, working within architectural education and creating participatory art practices to undertake research that challenges conventional approaches to urban planning.

«OAT19 will be a bold, transdisciplinary exploration into the architecture of our near futures, and how architecture can be a key actor in bringing about economic and societal transformation,» say the newly appointed curators.

Maria Smith is an architect working across architecture, engineering, journalism, education, and events. She is founding director of transdisciplinary architecture and engineering practice, Interrobang. She is a columnist for the RIBAJ; a member of the RIBA National Awards Panel; co-founder of Turncoats; and a Design Advocate for the Mayor of London.

Matthew Dalziel is a designer and maker working across architecture, education and research. An Associate at Interrobang, Matthew now collaborates with clients from artists to airports, previously working with Stirling Prize-winning Haworth Tompkins on housing, theatres and cultural buildings. He has taught in the post graduate schools of Kingston university and the London school of architecture.

Phineas Harper is an architecture critic and designer. He is Deputy Director of think tank, the Architecture Foundation, a columnist for Dezeen and author of A People’s History of Woodcraft Folk. He co-founded the international debating society, Turncoats, with Maria Smith and the New Architecture Writers course for BAME design critics.

Cecilie Sachs Olsen is initiator of the urban art practice, zURBS and a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for the GeoHumanities, Royal Holloway, University of London. Her work advances innovative and participatory urban research, exploring how artistic practice can analyse and reimagine urban space and politics. She has led over 40 art projects in nine European cities.