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Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth

The Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2019

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.

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Summary of n´UNDO´s theoretical basis.

Honey, I'm home!

The Taylorist tools of our modern homes, from the lawnmower to the microwave, are engineered for solo users. These tools complement our growth-oriented consumerist culture and gendered performance of the nuclear family. Honey I’m Home! questions domestic rituals by altering the props which support them. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for example, is a fictional, provocative prototype for collectivising domestic labour. As an alternative to the capitalist assumption that housework is most efficient when performed individually, the GDP is a device best used by three people.

Foresturbia

The Manual contains a wide array of landscape and urban strategies combined with technological solutions that should be taken into account by all decision makers, designers and citizens that will face the development of Oslo and also of others cities. It aims to do a complex teamwork among several actors, adding a new common ground of discussion towards a shared goal. “Foresturbia” has positive social effects. It involves the users in a new way engaging them and suggesting them that they are the first who should act to make the world a better place instead of selling them pre-made solutions: ...

An interview with Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša

Artist and media critic Alessandro Ludovico interviews the three artists named Janez Janša. It’s no coincidence that they have the same name and not by chance that they share it with the former Slovenian Prime minister: they deliberately and officially changed the names they’d had from birth to Janez Janša. They also joined the right-wing SDS party led by their homonymous counterpart. After that they experienced a “visible disappearance” from having canceled their previous names but simultaneously having gained huge visibility thanks to their radical gesture. Changing your name is similar to dying: it affects more people other than just ...

News From Monte Xisto

The rising indifference toward the plight of the urban poor shown by local authorities calls for strategic consideration from architects in a manner more sympathetic to social justice. In a context of scarcity of natural resources and economic degrowth, we believe that our profession can still make a difference through modest design projects. This was our aim in Monte Xisto.

VISUAL ECOLOPHONIC: A Relational Storytelling Dictionary

How does language change our understanding of the natural world, and our own role within it? How can the introduction of new terms into public discourse – depense, degrowth – alter our realities? Visual Ecolophonic is an informal research project by INDA & Animali Domestici through encounters with with Sami reindeer herders, cultural associations, and artists, in northern Finland, which considers how the Northern Sami language embraces the ecosophic, or ecophilosophical, complexity of nature in a way that other languages do not. The project considers how architects may embrace a more complex vocabulary and understanding of the ecologies in which ...

¡MAINTENANCE! [a proposition for future architectures]

Contributor James Carey
Images from previous works.

Playing is a Serious Thing!

Tools for playground is a toolkit to let people interact and modify space through “play” and on the creation of game dynamics. Playing is also a revolutionary act as in this dimension we can get rid of pre-constituted systems. With playful architectures we can relieve the constraints of form/function. Tools for Playground’s goal is to temporarily transform space into a playful dimension, favoring the interaction with the context and between people of any age, sex and nationality. These tools want to play with rules, leaving players free to arbitrarily invent their own. With few indications and simple tools, we can create objectives, parallel universes ...

Under Construction

Under Construction imagines a city that is constantly being rebuilt using the same stock of materials. 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 ...

Challenging Infrastructures: Alternative Networking & the Role of Art

During the last 15 years – when technology has become more natural and habitual, thus causing people to lose control over it – an emerging scene of network practitioners from different fields has been actively involved in building alternative networks of communication and file sharing. Among the practitioners of this DIY networking scene, a growing number of artists have been playing a crucial role as facilitator, mediator, and commoner of knowledge and experience. The artists have been offering tools of understanding based on their will to expose and make accessible opaque systems in an effort to empower people. Daphne Dragona ...

State to Stateless Machines: A Trajectory

James Bridle (one of Wired magazine’s 100 most influential people in Europe) is an artist and writer working across technologies and disciplines. In 2018, he curated the exhibition and conference Transnationalisms, produced by Aksioma in the framework of the international cooperation project State Machines. Bridle has spent the recent years researching citizenship-by-investment and related technologies: special economic zones and free trade areas, freeports and seasteads, blockchain and other supposedly emancipatory but inhuman and asset-based protocols for identity management. At every level, the mass movement of peoples and the rise of planetary-scale computation is changing the way we think and understand ...

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