Delving into the fundamentals of architecture by researching the work of Slovene engineer Herman Potočnik Noordung, the pioneer of space architecture, the Pavilion of Slovenia at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will explore concepts of “space culturalization.” Curated by the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT), The Problem of Space Travel - Supre:Architecture will parallel solutions from Science and Technology with the Arts and Humanities as a means of envisioning contemporary options for appropriating space.
The curatorial statement and more information, after the break...
From the curators: While nearby space is quite populated already, the conditions for human life in it remain unsuitable, and without adequate devices and objects, even deadly. The material manifestation of human presence in space is architecture at its most fundamental: as an articulation of surroundings and as a functional form of habitation in weightlessness.
A history of appropriating space has always been a history of architecture, too, most prominently in connection with scientific and technological achievements. One of the pioneers of space architecture was the Slovene engineer Herman Potočnik Noordung, who in his 1928 book The Problem of Space Travel offered a series of technological solutions for human survival in orbit. Noordung’s quest echoes that of the modernists and avant-gardists of the early 20th century – the search for a new artistic expression, which coincided with an invention of a new social order and a new man altogether. In this context, space enables a whole new view of art and society.
If at first it seemed like these artistic breakthroughs and their utopianism aimed for the future, today – with space exploration in full swing – they can be seen as contemporary. At the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the Slovenian Pavilion, curated by KSEVT, looks at past scientific and artistic space research as diverse preliminary efforts of space culturalization. While considering the architectural, artistic and scientific pioneers of space culturalization, the Pavilion defines a course for the next epoch of life outside the Earth – an expansion of life in space to all dimensions that befit a civilization in terms of notion and experience. Architecture for space – Supre:human, Supre:living and Supre:composite – is that very civilization's first material harbinger.