NewsVenice Architecture Biennale seeks post-pandemic reality

Venice Architecture Biennale seeks post-pandemic reality


Vence, Italy: The Venice Architecture Biennale, the world’s most famous architecture festival, opens Saturday for a six-month exhibition examining the subject of coexistence in a post-pandemic world.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, which was postponed from last year, is titled “How will we live together?” and asks architects to consider the future and its issues, according to curator Hashim Sarkis.

“The hardest question is how to resolve the problems that led us to the pandemic. How are we going to solve climate change, poverty, the huge political differences between right and left,” he told AFP.

Sarkis, a Lebanese architect and dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, believes that the future city would emerge from the desire to share communal spaces, consume less, and establish — or encourage — new kinds of solidarity.

“Spaces to assemble,” he added, “where people pass by, observing other people’s daily lives… places where economic and ethnic inequalities are shown.”

There would be “spaces to assemble, where people pass by, seeing the daily life of others… places where economic, ethnic differences are revealed”, he said.

‘Most innovative’ 

Sarkis has gathered 112 architects and studios for the biennale, almost all of them are working on the event for the first time, and the majority of them are between the ages of 35 and 55.

Is it the end of big-name architects as a new and more diverse generation challenges established models and demonstrates a greater knowledge of the latest technology?

“I looked everywhere for the solutions that were most innovative and creative. That was my criteria to choose the participants. It’s not a question of stars,” Sarkis said.

The Arsenal, Venice’s former shipyard and armory, and some portions of the city’s historic center have 63 national pavilions set up among the large gardens on the eastern border of the city, as well as within the great halls of the Arsenal, Venice’s former shipyard and armory, and some portions of the city’s historic center.

As Italy takes its first tentative steps toward normalcy with a decline in new Covid-19 cases, rigorous sanitary safeguards will remain in place throughout the show, which runs until November 21.

This year’s event features a large number of countries from Africa, Latin America, and Asia, with Grenada, Iraq, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan participating for the first time.

The Biennale asks whether the post-pandemic era is the start of a new era or just a blip on the radar.

That topic is answered through installations, videos, projects, and ideas as you walk around the Arsenal’s 3,000 square meters (32,300 square feet) and garden pavilions.

All of the concepts that call into question the future model of coexistence include virtual maps, enormous wooden models, interactive machines, and designs for underprivileged areas.

Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992), an Italian-Brazilian modernist who created Sao Paolo’s Museum of Art, will receive the Biennale’s Special Golden Lion.

Bardi’s art, according to Sarkis, best exemplifies the subjects discussed in the 2021 exhibition.

“She exemplifies perseverance in difficult times, whether wars, political conflicts, or immigration, and her ability to remain creative, generous, and optimistic at all times,” he said in April at a press conference.

Rafael Moneo, an 84-year-old Spanish architect, will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement this year.


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