Venice Biennale 2014: Danish Pavilion to Reintroduce the Power of Aesthetics

What does butterflies, quantum mechanics, poetry and dirt have to do with architecture? In the Danish pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, you are invited to sense, wonder, be curious and reflect when you meet the smell of dirt, read Niels Bohr’s letter to Einstein, hear the sound of poetry and burry your toes in pine needles. The pavilion reintroduces the forgotten power of aesthetics as the complementary to the rational. It argues that the two together form the foundation for our future decision making.

Bohr and Einstein debated the complementarity of quantum mechanics almost a hundred years ago. Today the Danish landscape architect and curator of the Danish pavilion, Stig L. Andersson, argues that Bohr’s philosophical aesthetic approach – and the forgotten modernity it represents – is essential for our common road into a sustainable future. The Danish pavilion reintroduces the power of aesthetics as an essential complementary to the rational. 

Niels Bohr & Albert Einstein, Photo by Paul Ehrenfest (1925), Courtesy AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives

The Danish pavilion is part of a larger project debating the future of Denmark. In the big scenario project called DK2050, both rationality and aesthetics are crucial powers, when creating images of our future cities and society. DK2050 e.g. asks; How will we live in Denmark in the year 2050? What are the challenges and dilemmas meeting us on the way? How can cities, politicians and each one of us participate and navigate in the decision making on our common road into a sustainable future? You can read more about DK2050 at

The City Dune, photo by Jens Lindhe, Courtesy of SLA

As commissioner for the Danish Pavilion, Danish Architecture Center has asked the internationally acclaimed Danish landscape architect Stig L. Andersson to curate the Danish Pavilion. 

”My ambition is to present the interrelationship of forgotten, repressed or underexposed parts of the dynamic Danish modernity. Not only in the history of architecture, but also in science, art and poetry,” stated curator, professor, and landscape architect Stig L. Andersson.

Text courtesy of the curatorial team.

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Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Venice Biennale 2014: Danish Pavilion to Reintroduce the Power of Aesthetics" 17 May 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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