More is More

4:30pm, Wednesday 19th September 18

A growing economy is a healthy economy. An infinitely growing economy is the apex of human achievement and a global cause to unite behind. With endless economic growth, we can make, trade, build, discard and expand forever, constantly creating new tools and toys that make us culturally, architecturally and materially richer.

Growth gives us spectacular new products and buildings previous generations could only dream of. Growth reshapes the natural world into an engine of human ingenuity, giving us mastery over the elements and animals alike in the pursuit of our higher goals. Infinite growth of course means harnessing infinite resources – an exhilarating creative challenge. Our intrepid ancestors achieved astounding feats and amassed unprecedented luxuries with their conquest of the new world. We too must embrace that pioneering spirit to colonise not just the new world, but new planets, and quickly!

Above all, the quest for economic growth gives human life deeper meaning. Inequality may be rising, but there have always been starving people and at least now the poor can enjoy 4G and Facebook accounts. Life is short, but growth is forever, giving purpose to our otherwise fleeting existence. Bigger is better.

The Panel

  • Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (chair) is the Founding Partner and Director at Snøhetta. He was born in Norway and has spent his early years in Essen, Germany, and Sunningdale, England. In 1987, he co-founded Snøhetta Architecture and Landscape – a collaboration of architects and landscape architects. Kjetil also co-founded Norway’s first architectural gallery – Galleri ROM.

  • Maria Smith (co-chair) is an architect, engineer and chief curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019. She is founder of Interrobang, a transdisciplinary practice based in London and co-founder of Studio Weave, a narrative-driven architecture studio. She is also a long-standing columnist for the Royal Institute of British Architects Journal.

  • Lukas Leitinger (Proposition) is originally from Austria and a diver of deep Oceans where darkness knows no light. To the surface he brings with him the utmost opposites of darkness, namely, environmental justice, systems critique of economic growth and animal rights. Currently, as a student of environment and development at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences he works with Spire’s national campaign on climate politics and degrowth.

  • Phineas Harper (Proposition) is Chief Curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019. He is an architecture critic, Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation in London and co-founder of New Architecture Writers – a school of architectural criticism for BAME aspiring design writers.

  • Birgit M. Liodden (Opposition) aka the Shipping Socialist is Director of Sustainability, Ocean & Communication at the Oslo Business Region. She is a board member of the Norwegian Sea Rescue Academy and first Norwegian private owner of a hydrogen car. Partially based in a houseboat, she describes herself as a world citizen and rebel with a heart beating for sustainable business.

  • Anja Bakken Riise (Opposition) is the leader of Future in our Hands (Framtiden i våre hender), Norway’s largest solidarity and environmental NGO, with more than 27.000 members. In 2015, Anja was key in organizing civil society towards the parliamentary decision to divest the Norwegian oil fund from coal companies.

Kulturhuset, Youngs gate 6, 0181, Oslo. Part of Oslo Urban Arena


Turncoats is a provocative global debating society turning public discourse on its head, shaking and serving over ice. It is off the record, offline and riddled with devil’s advocates hiding in plain sight.  Prepare for big arguments from surprising places, where the only allegiances are to the spirit of the fight.

Turncoats is a project founded by Phineas Harper and Maria Smith with the support of Robert Mull and the Architecture Foundation. For all enquiries write to hello@turncoats.uk.

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