Curatorial statement:

Mission Neighbourhood
(Re)forming communities

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In a time when the world is facing major social and environmental challenges, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 spotlights neighbourhood as a place and horizon for rethinking our cities. With the working title Mission Neighbourhood – (Re)forming communities, the Triennale will explore how we form the places we share.

What do we mean by “neighbourhood”? Neighbourhoods represent the sum of everyday places we share with one another: The streets, squares, bus stops, kindergartens and schools, the places where we shop and meet – when possibilities allow. The neighbourhood is where communal activities take place. But it is also the context where the structures of society at large are expressed. The neighbourhood scale reveals our ability as a collective to handle challenges and create meaningful frameworks for everyday life.

Towards the festival in the fall of 2022, the Triennale will be an open laboratory for our joint investigation of ways to form the neighbourhoods of the future: What are the features of good neighbourhoods? How can infrastructure such as roads be transformed into neighbourhood spaces? How can institutions, schools and offices be designed so they accommodate more diverse uses and users? And we will take a closer look at ways to reform the systemic premises of neighbourhood development: What is the value of good neighbourhoods – for the individual, for the public health and for sustainable societal development? How can politicians and the public administration create better conditions for fostering neighbourhood quality? How can capital benefit the public good in urban development?

The open laboratory is a local, national and international platform where professionals and citizens meet to create more thriving, fair and inspiring neighbourhoods. We will bring forward the skill and ambition, existing both within and outside of professional circles, to contribute to a more empathic take on city development. It will showcase practices, people and projects that contribute to neighbourhood thinking – from the local transformation of a single street to large-scale visionary city planning. We will shed light on neighbourhood’s past, present and future to show the wide array of possible diverse, vibrant communities.

The theme builds upon a surging global interest in developing the local environment, such as the Parisian 15-minute City and Barcelona’s Superblocks. The Covid 19-pandemic has clarified the importance of neighbourhood, as well as significant inequalities when it comes to access to neighbourhood qualities. The Triennale aims to add insight, ideas and proposals for action that can help build more quality neighbourhoods for the many.

Mission Neighbourhood is an invitation to heighten the collective imagination regarding the spaces of everyday life. As with any mission, there is a goal: To visibly boost critical and constructive inquiry into the possibilities of neighbourhood within and across different disciplines. We seek responses and responsibilities: What must be done? Who can do it? What is our responsibility? And last, not least: What can we accomplish together?


About the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022

- The Theme launch marks the start of a year and a half of exploration through partnership, open calls, debates, research and much more.

- Research and development of neighbourhoods in Oslo will be at the centre of the Triennale activities, while simultaneously, we will seek out international projects, perspectives and best practices.

- The Triennale is underway with a network gathering bigger Nordic cities to share knowledge on neighbourhood culture and development.

- A series of open calls will be announced during the fall of 2021, asking for both international examples and visions for specific development areas in Oslo.

- The Triennale opening 21-25 September 2022 kick starts the autumn’s program of activities and experiments in neighbourhoods in Oslo.

- The outcome of the Triennale will be compiled in a publication that sums up ideas and actions for neighbourhood thinking and development.

- Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 is directed and curated by Christian Pagh and developed by the OAT secretariat in collaboration with the Triennale members and a range of partner organizations.