About us

ROM is an Oslo based meeting place dedicated to the intersection of the fields of art, architecture, place making and public space. We are a vibrant platform fascilitating exhibitions, film screenings, lectures and text publishing. ROM is an explorative capacity which enables new multidisciplinary networks and relations between artists, architects, writers, researchers and institutions to form.

From the launch of Safe Space Zine (2021). Photo: Franz Holtschlag

Since the startup in 2005, ROM has been situated in Maridalsveien 3 in Oslo. Following the renovation of the old parking fascility in the premises of the former NORA factory, two galleries, Galleri ROM (founded in 1987) and Institutt for Romkunst (founded in 1988) merged into becoming an interdisciplinary meeting place for the intersection of the fields of art and architecture. Five associations initiated the merge: The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts, The Association of Norwegian Visual Artists, National Association of Norwegian Architects and The Norwegian Association of Interior Architects and Furniture Designers. Henrik der Minassian was ROM’s director from the startup in 2005 until 2019, when our current director Gjertrud Steinsvåg was appointed.

“In a field that plans and builds for everyone, it is evident to question who has the power of definition, which voices are included and which ones are excluded” wrote our former colleague Tina Lam in the text “From the other Norwegians”, published by us in June 2020. This text became the starting point for our critical focus on issues of representation and power of definition. In order to strengthen the importance, understanding and experience of architecture, place making and art, we continued by a series of “Open Calls” adressed to a interdisciplinary field. To us, diversity includes both to make space for groups and perspectives which historically have been excluded, but also to work towards making sure that a professional field is representative for the societal body at large. A diverse range of perspectives -and experiences creates a broader critical sphere. This is crucial to the progression of art, architecture, place making and public space, and is necessary to contest established perceptions on how art and architecture impacts our lives – as well as on who are the ones impacting. How can for instance the disabled body represent innovation and contribute with crucial perspectives on what fundamental and adequat spatial conditions means? Can we transgress the perception of the disabled body as a mere technical and juridical entity in architecture – and urban planning? Can we envision buildings and communies with the disabled body as a starting point?

Our values

ROM is dedicated to act with generosity in relation to ourselves, our collaborators and our visitors. We perceive generosity to be a professional asset in which knowledge sharing, explorationing and curiosity serves as key elements in sustaining interdisciplinary relations between the fields of art, architecture, place making and public space. Our mandate is to bring together practices and methods from different traditions and disciplines, in order to expand perspectives and create new synergies. Simultaneously, we focus on the importance of contesting dominant perceptions of exhibitions, artworks and texts being self-enclosed end-points.

“ROM is in our essence interdisciplinary, and approaches questions concerning the potentiality of art and architecture with openness and generosity.

Gjertrud Steinsvåg, Director

From the opening of the exhibition SYNE (2022), Inger Lise Hansen. Photo: Marco Ghilardi