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OSLO: An Inspiration in the Art of City Making – Book Launch at the Embassy of Norway

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What is happening in Norway right now, or rather, in OSLO? An inspiring evening with
Erling Fossen, Anne Beate Hovind and Stein Olav Henrichsen, moderated by Karolina Keyzer.

What is it that has been happening in Oslo in recent decades and continues to transform the city today? Erling Fossen, author of the book Oslo – Learning to Fly, explained what has enabled such rapid and sophisticated growth in the city of Oslo. In short order, four new signature buildings have been added to the cityscape: the Oslo Opera House, Deichman – the new city library, the new National Museum and the new Munch Museum. Tools that help the city function. The impact of multi-purpose areas in the city. Cathedral thinking.

Anne Beate Hovind, director of the art programme for Oslo’s Björkvika district, discussed how art and architecture coalesce into something that goes well beyond the sum of the individual parts. She is currently spearheading two large-scale art programmes in Oslo: Future Library, in cooperation with the Scottish artist Katie Paterson, and Flatbread Society, in cooperation with Future Farmers.

Future Library is an art project that is set to run for 100 years! Every year from 2014 to 2114, a selected writer or artist writes a manuscript that stays sealed for 100 years. In a special ceremony the manuscript is handed over in a grove of 100 trees. The manuscript is then stored in a silent room in the new Dreichman Library, where it remains undread until 2114, when it is printed on paper made from the 100 trees in the grove.

Stein Olav Henrichsen, director of the new Munch Museum in Björkvika, outlines the vision for the museum and plans for its activities when the museum opens in 2020.

The evening ended with a lively debate and an engaged audience who had many questions for the panel. Hopefully Stockholm can learn from Oslo and from the audacity of the ‘Oslopolitans’ and their commitment to their capital. The Stockholmers who were present for this event certainly went home with new ideas and inspiration.

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