At a meeting convened today at the Biennale's headquarters at Ca’ Giustinian in Venice, Italy, Grafton Architects—Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara—revealed the theme and outline for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, which they have titled Freespace. According to the Directors, the forthcoming Biennale will celebrate "generosity and thoughtfulness," and "a desire to engage." We believe that everyone has the right to benefit from architecture. The role of architecture is to give shelter to our bodies, but also to lift our spirits. A beautiful wall forming a street edge gives pleasure to the passer-by, even if they never go inside. Freespace will "reveal diversity, specificity, and continuity in architecture. Together," they proposed, "we can reveal the capacity of architecture to connect with history, time, place, and people. These qualities sustain the fundamental capacity of architecture to nurture and support a meaningful impact between people and place." In their closing statement, Farrell and McNamara chose to quote an Ancient Greek proverb: a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.
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