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Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE)

Type of project
Basic research
01.06.2010 -> 01.06.2013

This project has been completed

About the project

The reseach project Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) explores the relationship between scarcity and creativity in the context of the built environment by investigating how conditions of scarcity might affect the creativity of the different actors involved in the production of architecture and urban design, and how design-led actions might improve the built environment in the future.

The research is based on the analysis of processes in four European cities: London, Oslo, Reykjavik, and Vienna.

The Oslo team will investigate, both conceptually and empirically, the relation between scarcity and creativity in the making of the built environment by examining places and periods in which there have been radical shifts from periods of scarcity to abundance and vice versa. The project asks what happens when the challenges posed by urban development and especially housing are produced under conditions of new found abundance after long periods of scarcity. This will identify what challenges might abundance and scarcity pose for the creative and innovative design of cities, and what happens to creativity when servicing conditions of rapid economic transformation. The two cases to be studied are the city of Stavanger which experienced rapid economic growth after the discovery of oil in the North Sea in 1967, and the city of Reykjavik which after a period of boom suffered a dramatic financial crisis in 2008.

The research question for both case studies is: How, what type, and with what outcomes did Stavanger and Reykjavik produce their housing and settlement patterns in periods of scarcity and of abundance and what challenges does this pose for the future?

The project is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme under the The European Community FP7 2007-2013.

The AHO team is headed by Christian Hermansen at the Institute of Architecture