The conference of the Biennale Architettura di Venezia “How will we live together?” was streamed due to the health emergency, but Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, sends a positive message:
“The year 2020 has often been referred to as a milestone on the path to a better future. Many nations and cities have devised a ‘Vision 2020’. The year is now here. We look to the collective architectural imagination to meet this momentous occasion with creativity and courage.
“Architecture makes us more aware individuals and helps us to conserve resources and to give ourselves a modicum of happiness.” adds the president Paolo Baratta.
The curator Hashim Sarkis explains: “The question ‘How will we live together’ is at once an ancient one and an urgent one. It is also as much a social and political question as a spatial one. Aristotle asked it when he was defining politics, and he came back to propose the model of the city. Every generation asks it and answers it differently. More recently rapidly changing social norms, growing political polarization, climate change, and vast global inequalities are making us ask this question more urgently and at different scales than before…”
While the architects invited to participate in the Biennale Architettura 2020 are encouraged to include other professions and constituencies, the curator asserts the vital role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.
The director Paolo Baratta said: “ The 17th Biennale Architettura also maintains that it is in its material, spatial, and cultural specificity that architecture inspires the ways we live together. In that respect, we ask the participants to highlight those aspects of the main theme that are uniquely architectural.”
“There has been a constant theme over the years – continues Baratta – the social advantages which Architecture can catalyze. As we have often said, Architecture makes us more aware individuals…And lastly, Architecture helps us to conserve resources and to give ourselves a modicum of happiness.”
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition – Biennale di Venezia.
The Exhibition will be articulated between the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and Forte Marghera, including 114 participants in competition coming from 46 countries with increased representation from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
In addition to the invited participants, the Biennale Architettura 2020 also includes Stations+Cohabitats, researchers out of competition on the themes of the Exhibition and developed by universities around the world.
Organised in five scales between the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, the Exhibition also presents large installations connected to one of the five scales, which will be placed in the external spaces of the Arsenale and the Giardini. “How will we play together?” is the project devoted to children’s play at Forte Marghera, presented by five architects and an architectural photographer.
The National Participations are 63, in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. Grenada, Iraq and Uzbekistan participates for the first time.
The Italian Pavilion “Resilient Communities” at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, sponsored and promoted by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo, Direzione Generale Creatività contemporanea, is curated by Alessandro Melis.
Scale 1: Among Diverse Beings (Arsenale)
- – Designing for New Bodies: Addressing changes in the perception and conception of the human body.
- – Living with Other Beings: Foregrounding empathy and engagement with other beings.
Scale 2: As New Households (Arsenale)
- – Catering to New Demographics: Responding to changing compositions and densities of households.
- – Inhabiting New Tectonics: Exploring technologies that enable innovative housing construction.
- – Living Apart Together: Expanding possibilities of the apartment building as a collective housing typology.
Scale 3: As Emerging Communities (Arsenale)
- – Engaging Varied Forms of Civicness: Investigating novel ways for communities to organize themselves spatially.
- – Re-equipping Society: Proposing new forms of social equipment (parks, schools, hospitals, …).
- – Coming Together in Venice: Imagining the future of Venice.
- – Co-habitats: Showing how we do live together in… Addis Ababa, Al Azraq Refugee Camp, Beirut, Hong-Kong, India-Pakistan corridors, Lagos squatter settlement, New York, Prishtina, and the Rio-São Paulo area.
Scale 4: Across Borders (Giardini, Central Pavilion)
- – Transcending the Urban-Rural Divide: Mitigating the growing social and economic differences between global cities and the global hinterland.
- – Linking the Levant: Negotiating sharp political divisions in the Levant region.
- – Bridging Infrastructures: Exploring how infrastructural design can provide trans-regional connectivity.
- – Protecting Global Commons: Bringing the architectural imaginary to endangered treasures such as the Poles, the Amazon, the Oceans, the Indo-Pacific Region, and the Air.
Scale 5: As One Planet (Giardini, Central Pavilion)
- – Making Worlds: Anticipating and calibrating the future of the planet.
- – Uniting the Nations: Marking the 75thanniversary of the United Nations by revising and expanding its spatial scope.
- – Changing Designs for Climate Change: Presenting solutions in face of global warming.
- – Networking Space: Connecting between Earth and outer space.
The grounds of the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion at the Giardini will include several large installations that relate to one of the five scales.
Towards a Renewed Agency for Architecture
“The Biennale Architettura 2020 is motivated by new kinds of problems that the world is putting in front of architecture, but it is also inspired by the emerging activism of young architects and the radical revisions being proposed by the profession of architecture to take on these challenges.” concludes the curator.
From August 29 to November 29, 2020 (press opening August 27-28)
Caption upper photo:
SOM, “Moon Village Earth Rise,” Life Beyond Earth, 2020. Courtesy SOM | Slashcube GmbH