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Project Leaders 

Nina Edwards Anker and Anna Bokov

 Building a sustainable and resilient world means focusing not just on people but also equally on animals, insects, and plants. As architects, we have a social responsibility not only for our own kind but also for all other living and sentient beings. This is reflected in the growing consciousness among architects and urban planners regarding the environmental, social, and governance issues. Part and parcel with this rising awareness of protecting the environment is the design of more sustainable, resilient architecture that uses renewable energy sources. How is this consciousness being reflected in the new architecture? 


1) Climates 

Climate dynamics, overproduction, heavy farming, pesticides, genetic engineering - these colossal shifts in man’s activities – causes bees and other living species to disappear. Climate change is a direct result of mining the fossil fuel and is devastating the environment. This section addresses the effects of the world-wide transformation of a petroleum society within the built environment. What does the end of the petroleum society mean for designers, architects, and planners? The Triennale examines projects that examine The End of Petroleum Architecture and instead are driven by geothermal, hydro, wind and other alternative sources.  


Modern Architecture has been traditionally “closed in,” relying on artificially controlled climatised environments. How can architecture rely less on the controlled climate - be less impervious and more porous? This section explores the notion of Artificial Climates: Architecture and Anthropocene – across various climatically challenged environments – from North to South. The Triennale explores these new visions as well as histories of settling the Arctic. It invites proposals for new types of environmentally friendly architectures, infrastructures, and public spaces using active and passive energy technologies. 


2) Cultures 

Despite the growing interconnectivity, brought by the evolving web, telecommunications, and transportation, our contemporary world remains deeply divided. Culture is still a local characteristic. People will always tend to define themselves within heterotopic perspectives of cultural engagement and variance. The Triennale presents a platform for exploring the issues of identity, patterns of migration, and socio-economic issues such as poverty, as they shape the development of our manmade physical domain. The enormous region of the North is divided between few superpowers, yet it is also populated by the small nations, the indigenous peoples. The inherent tension between small and large - local ethnos and enormous states needs to be addressed in how we design with the context and culture in mind. This section concentrates on Cultural Contexts and Sites and the proverbial Genius Loci.  


3) Constructs  

Constructed man-made environments – i.e. architecture -  is one of the largest consumers of energy on the planet. As architects, it is our responsibility to not only be aware of the role that buildings play in the overall climate dynamics. What does it mean to create a built environment for a more resilient world? How can architecture be more inclusive not just to humans but also to the different living species? We are interested in Constructing Architecture for Non-Humans – from butterflies and crickets, to fish and oysters. The Triennale invites solutions for the emergent fields of sub-sea, entomological, and aviary architectures also offer ways for sustainable farming and ecologically friendly food sources. These are not simply physical structures but also the logistical chains and novel social constructs – reinventing the way we think about nature, as well as the everyday practices and things, such as eating and farming.  


4) Politics 

Politics of nations and also the charged politics of sites – are a complex web of interaction between many stakeholders. Political acts guide and shape our cities. They directly influence the architects, clients, users, and especially the larger pubic. Politics in many cases limits and defines areas of effect in order to protect those inside the sphere of influence. This top-down governmental myopia has changed little even after the implanting of global organizations such as the United Nations. Where does design intersect with politics to enforce positive change?  


Movement of the people across the globe, prompted by military unrest and ecological disasters effects entire continents. At the same time, migration of entire species prompted by climate change has a major ecological impact, as for example the recent migration of Pacific oysters.  The Triennale section on the Politics of Exodus – Extinction, Migration, and Flows focuses on the movements of people, as well as species, and looks at how these are impacting the public domain – from ecological systems to housing. Sustainability polices are increasingly taking the form of directives on the national and global scale, balancing the agenda future sustainability with the current economic interests. How does architecture, as an integral part of creating global infrastructure, play a key role in this transition?   

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Together these projects: The End of Petroleum Architecture, Artificial Climates: Architecture of the Anthropocene, Cultural Contexts and Sites, Constructing Architecture for Non-Humans, and The Politics of Exodus – Extinction, Migration, and Flows form the platforms for the various Triennale formats and outcomes, including: Exhibition, Project in a Public Space, Publication, Conference, International Academic Forum, and the Digital Publication Series. 


Gas and Bees 

Climates, Cultures, Constructs, and Politics  


Based on the recent scholarship of massive environmental shifts explored in books such as; Bill McKibben’s, Oil and Honey, The End of Nature, and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, this Oslo Architectural Triennale seeks to underscore architectures for a recovering planet. “Gas and Bees” is a meta theme that addresses these ecological issues grounded in climate dynamics, cultural identities, constructed environments, and political agendas as they directly impact the ensuing Anthropocene. The Triennale is structured in four key sections: 1) Climates, 2) Cultures, 3) Constructs, 4) Politics. The “CCCP” provides an organizational framework for the architectural and urban projects from across the globe. Each of the Triennale outlets and formats – from exhibition and public space project, to print and digital publications, to public forum and conferences are framed through these four elemental lenses. These notions address a variety of stakeholders – from architects to the public, and a range of scales - from global to local, from nation-wide to site-specific.  

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