The Office of Rules and Norms  

Exploring the role of art in revealing and challenging existing rules


2019 –

Partners
Concordia University
The Office of Rules and Norms (ORN) is an arts-based transdisciplinary studio headquartered in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University. The Office engages with regulations, the rule of law, cultural norms and market standards. These engagements reveal, comprehend, play with, subvert, and transcend current ways of understanding and acting in relation to regulatory forces in order to make room for more equitable alternatives. In its attempts to query legal and behavioural urban infrastructures, the ORN specifically deploys art and design practice, culture, and methods along three axes:

  • Art as Subversion | Intervening in grey areas of regulation
  • Art as Pedagogy | Making public various forces and forms of influence
  • Art as Decision-Making | Reorienting modes of knowing and deliberating

Initial projects launched in Autumn 2019 explore grey areas of the building code, socially-biased regulations, the voices of future generations and real estate speculation. One of them, Excess and the City, is a course in which participants will investigate and develop new art methodologies to reveal the systems underlying speculation and excessive cities. Excess and the City examines the complex financial, political and social schemes that produce increasingly unaffordable cities, and explore the potential of subversion in finding alternatives to speculation.

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All Projects ︎
We’re a distributed team with presence around the world.

Dark Matter Laboratories B.V.
Pakhuis de Zwijger
Piet Heinkade 181K
1019 HC Amsterdam
The Netherlands


Dark Matter Laboratories UK
Trading via Architecture 00 Ltd.
217 Mare Street
London, E8 3QE
United Kingdom


Laboratoires de Matière sombre / Dark Matter LabsOrganisation à but non-lucratif canadien / Canadian not-for-profit
Numéro de l'organisation / Corporation number: 1196376-7
1740 rue Saint-Patrick
Montréal (Québec)
H3K 0B3


Dark Matter Labs Korea
#202 Project Path Building, Seoul Innovation Park,
684 Tongil-ro, Nokbeon-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, 03371
South Korea

서울 은평구 통일로 684 서울혁신파크 상상청 202호, 우편번호 03371

Dark Matter Labs Sweden
The Ground
Bredgatan 4
211 30 Malmö

Sweden