Thursday, October 29, 2009

Put a +47 on it

Earlier this week I arrived in Oslo on a permanent basis. I've spent most of the week wandering through the streets for inspiration and education when not on the serious business of finding work. Its a fairly compact city, taking under an hour to walk from East to West, but with more of a grubby urban cosmopolitan sprawl than any other Norwegian city I have so far seen. For all the grimey and alluring corners of this capital city though, it takes quite a trawl through the streets, patience and a local guide to find out places of interest that are worth checking out. The main hot spots (bars, galleries, cafes) are to be found in the Grünerløkka and Grønland districts in the East. The center on the other hand is a bit of a commercial disaster.

I'm working on an article for Architonic magazine at the moment that discusses the underside of the coverage the 100% Norway exhibition has been receiving in the design press recently. Now I am based in Oslo it has been revealing to see many more projects that have not received as much clamor as those involved in the 100% exhibition, but have more long term aims at their core. One of those projects is not so much a place for high profile product design but, a fringe building (off the beaten track) that houses different studios and one main organization that conducts and consults in projects between art and architecture. 0047, housed in a former dairy factory in Grønland, to me could be anywhere; Barcelona, Sao Palo, Berlin, New York. It is representative of the cross-disciplinary movements seen throughout the world today in arts and science, technology and craft. There are several other such places in Norway, Transplant where i worked and a creative space just outside Ålesund, but i am mostly looking forward to what is happening in this city and forthcoming projects from groups such as 0047 amongst others.
Photo: early 0047 project covered by D2 magazine.

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