Cecilie Sachs Olsen is a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research at Oslo Metropolitan University. She previously held a position as a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the centre for the GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway University of London. Her work is practice-based and revolves around developing creative methods for urban research and exploring how artistic practice can be used as a framework to analyse and re-imagine urban development, space and politics. Cecilie was the chief curator of Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, which used fiction, art and performance to explore ‘the architecture of degrowth’ - alternative social and spatial structures that question the supremacy of economic growth as the basis of contemporary societies. She is also the co-founder of the urban performance collective, zURBS and the artist duo SACHS/WESTERDAHL. Cecilie has led a series of urban research and art projects around Europe and recently published a monograph about her work titled ‘Socially Engaged Art and the Neoliberal City’ (Routledge, 2019).
Fields of study
Theory of architecture and design Human geography Theatre studies Urbanism
Utopias Climate Relational aesthetics Performance Theory Participation Urban Studies Socially engaged art Creative methods Multispieces urbanism
Switzerland Denmark United Kingdom
CONTRA – Conflicts in transformations
CONTRA explores how institutionalising productive conflict can increase the transformative capacity needed in the transition towards more sustainable cities.
Publications and research
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2023). From architectures of capital to architectures of care: the arts of dreaming otherwise in the Oslo Architecture Triennale. Haarstad, Håvard; Grandin, Jakob Olof; Kjærås, Kristin Edith Abrahamsen; Johnson, Eleanor (Ed.). Haste: The slow politics of climate urgency. 3. p. 27-38. UCL Press.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Co‐Creation Beyond Humans: The Arts of Multispecies Placemaking. Urban Planning . Vol. 7.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Towards an urban attention ecology. LaBelle, Brandon (Ed.). Ecologies of Attention: Artistic research from the Art Academy, Bergen.. Kapittel.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Towards an urban attention ecology. LaBelle, Brandon (Ed.). Radical Sympathy. Kapittel. p. 12-23.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Imagining Transformation: Applied Theater and the Making of Collaborative Future Scenarios. GeoHumanities .
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2021). Fremtidsfabrikken: Fra bevaringsscenarioer til transformative scenarioer i planprosesser. Pløger, John; Førde, Anniken; Sand, Anne-Lene (Ed.). Improvisasjon. Mellom plan og planløshet. Kapittelnummer 7. p. 131-150. Scandinavian Academic Press.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie; Zaff Juhlin, Christina
How to engage reflexively with messy presents and potential futures: An audio walk for planners.
Planning Theory & Practice
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2021). Curating change: spatial utopian politics and the architecture of degrowth. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers .
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2019). Socially engaged art and the neoliberal city. ISBN: 978-0-367-63486-5. 205 p. Routledge.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2019). Urban space and the politics of socially engaged art. Progress in Human Geography .
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2023). How do art and design unlock the full potential for urban transition?. JPI Urban Lunch Talk. Urban Europe.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Keynote - From crisis to change: curating degrowth and the arts of transformation. Vinterseminar i Samfunnsgeografi. Universitetet i Oslo.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie; Schnell, Alf Jørgen (2022). Selv folk fra næringslivet ønsker å utfordre tanken om økonomisk vekst. Plan: Tidsskrift for samfunnsplanlegging, byplan og regional utvikling . Vol. 54.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie; Juhlin, Christina (2022). Architecture and Urban Studies - An Awkward Kinship. Nordic Journal of Urban Studies . Vol. 2.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Urban Interventions. Storbykonferansen. NIBR/OsloMet.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Arts for urban change: negotiating the city as a common good. BETA festival. BETA festival.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Cities & Society Podcast: Towards multispecies urbanism and planning?.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Hvordan kan vi inkludere marine arter når vi tenker byutvikling?. Klima til Kvelds. CIENS.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). Co-creation beyond humans: the arts of multispecies placemaking. Cities&Societies Seminar. Oslo Universitet.
Sachs Olsen, Cecilie (2022). A social justice approach to Urban Living Labs: enter the Drama Lab. Sustainable City Summer School. University of Antwerp.