Venice Biennale 2012: Revisit – Customizing Tourism / Cyprus Pavilion

© Nico Saieh

In a time of rapid physical and digital connections the global phenomenon of tourism becomes more and more of a common activity. Tourism brings people from all over the world on a common ground giving them the opportunity to interact with a locality, places, and people. However, the conventional tourist entertainment character and the lack of local interaction alienate the notion of the common ground in most tourist destinations. Resorts, theme-parks, international hotel chains, global market icons, and city guides turned tourism into a travelling monopoly with global rules that are applicable everywhere. Common ground is at stake!

The pavilion was curated by Charis Christodoulou and Spyros Th. Spyrou.

© Nico Saieh

From Charis Christodoulou and Spyros Th. Spyrou:

Since the foundation of the Republic of , tourism has been the main pursuit in the governments’ and authorities’ agenda as a factor for the country’s economic growth. During the last few decades, both the public and the private sector in have been closely committed to the development of leisure infrastructure to accelerate the greatest national economic generator: the tourist industry. These economically driven processes have generated a gradual transformation of ’s large urban and rural areas according to the demands of tourism.

© Nico Saieh

However, the lack of common groung between tourism and local urbanism in these areas as well as the decrease of rates related to tourism as a result of the global financial crisis raise a series of questions associated with sustainability and regeneration of tourism in Cyprus. Can a city reuse vacant tourist infrastructures that remain unused for large periods of time, or can tourists occupy them all year around? Instead of segregating built environment into urban and tourist areas (tourban), can local urbanism blend into tourbanism and vice versa in favor of the generation of common grounds that both society and economy can benefit from? Can tourism become a factor for regenerating public space? Can rural areas become more actively associated with urban areas through the development of larger tourist networks?

© Nico Saieh

Revisit introduces architectural approaches that rethink tourism and customize space. Students of university Architecture Schools in Cyprus were called to redesign, reform, and reuse space in projects dealing with the aforementioned issues. The country’s future architects introduce their ideas of how architecture may reinforce common ground between tourism and local urbanism while upgrading both. Visitors of the Cyprus Pavilion will have the opportunity to enter the country’s stereotypical tourist scenery in order to witness alternative touristic experiences.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "Venice Biennale 2012: Revisit – Customizing Tourism / Cyprus Pavilion" 05 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=268875>

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