Norway Making Utopian Architecture A Reality


Norway is advanced in many aspects, and that includes its approach to design and architecture. Their upcoming exhibition at the London Design Biennale explores precisely the human approach to these disciplines that have a ripple effect on life and society in Norway. Reaching for Utopia constructs the idea that architecture can be used for the greater good of the community. Amongst the selected projects are a hospital, a light rail and a university. These are real environments that benefit real people.

Norway’s government is actively working on a plan with architecture that makes a difference. The London Design Biennale exhibition on Norway’s part is not the first time the subject is portrayed. In fact, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London showcased 20 projects that are people-centre designs back in 2013. The history of collaboration between the UK and Norway has led both countries to centre architecture on a more inclusive level. This means that the design must work for communities, neighbourhoods, businesses and public services.

Meeting social needs while putting the community first is what these ongoing projects cater to. It was born from a UK government initiative back in 2000, which is ‘a process whereby designers ensure that their products and services address the needs of the widest possible audience’. Because Nordic governance is democratic to its fullest, the idea surrounds social equality gained from such systems. For 15 years now, Norway has been working on an action plan to implement inclusive design by the year 2025.

Design That Challenges Tradition

In a spirit to showcase the creativity behind a lot of Norwegian design, this year’s London Design Festival will host 100% Norway for the 13th time. The exhibition will take place between September 22nd and 25th, focusing on the tradition and heritage of Norwegian designs with the hopes of challenging people’s perspectives of what designs from the Nordic country are like. Seventeen designers will showcase work - from furniture to ceramics - which have been created to either explore typical techniques or, in some cases, challenge them.


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