The Library​


Oslo Architecture Triennale


In 2018 Matthew Dalziel was appointed as one of the chief curators of the Oslo Architecture Triennale. In his capacity as curator one of his responsibilities became the design and delivery of The Library, an installation hosted by the National Museum of Architecture. You can read the full details of the Triennale and its themes and programme here,

The installation transformed the museum into a library hosting the content of 81 contributors from around the world and providing free and open space for enquiry and discussion at the centre of the city festival. Along with the projects of the invited contributors, the curators staged a reading room and an archive, and created an active lending collection where books, magazines, tools and toys could be borrowed to experience outside the collection.

The cultural sector of architecture is a material hungry and waste heavy industry. The rapidly expanding appetite for short lived cultural spectacles, from international expos to biennales and visiting exhibitions, is consuming and discarding an ever-growing amount of material.


To respond to this issue, The Library reused materials from several exhibition at the National Museum, taking control of the demolition of the previous show and digging through the basement storerooms for discarded materials. These found elements were then absorbed into a new construction that was itself designed to be disassembled for future use. As a closing event, a disassembly ritual was performed, carefully dismounting the exhibition, sorting it into raw materials, and making everything from potted plants and books, to screws and wood, available to the public.