Today the President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta and the appointed Curator of the 17th International Exhibition Hashim Sarkis introduced the theme of the next year’s event “How will we live together?”. La Biennale Architettura 2020 will take place at Venice’s Giardini and Arsenale from May 23 to November 29, 2020.
“We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together,” reads Sarkis’ Statement. The theme that explores architecture as material, spatial, and cultural field, encourages the participating architects to engage other professionals in their research — inviting artists, builders, politicians, social scientists, and everyday citizens the Curator wants the society to acknowledge the role of the architect “as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract”.
“We expect from Hashim Sarkis’ research and from the individual participating countries a number of examples that besides informing us on the different realities and the current trends and conflicts, can let us imagine a world at work to face those issues, and in particular a world of architecture committed to thinking, imagining and realising new solutions,” — comments Paolo Baratta.
About Hashim Sarkis
Architect and educator, Hashim Sarkis is a principal of Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS) founded in Boston and Beirut in 1998, and the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2015.
Curating La Biennale 2020 is not the architect’s first experience with the International Architecture Exhibition. HSS’s work has been shown at the Pavilion of the United States at the Biennale Architettura 2014 and the Albanian Exhibit at the Biennale Architettura 2010. Moreover, Hashim Sarkis was part of the jury at La Biennale’s 14th edition in 2016.
Read more about the architect here.
We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together: together as human beings who, despite our increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space; together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation; together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion and spatial identity; together across political borders to imagine new geographies of association; and together as a planet facing crises that require global action for us to continue living at all.
The architects invited to participate in Biennale Architettura 2020 are encouraged to engage other professions and constituencies—artists, builders, and craftspeople, but also politicians, journalists, social scientists, and everyday citizens. In effect, Biennale Architettura 2020 asserts the overlooked role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.
In parallel, Biennale Architettura 2020 also maintains that it is in its material, spatial, and cultural specificity that architecture inspires the ways we live together. In that respect, we ask the participants to highlight those aspects of the main theme that are uniquely architectural.
The curators of the national participations are called upon to address one or more of the sub-themes of the Exhibition. The need for more inclusive social housing and equipment or for more connective urban and territorial tissue remains as pressing in emerging economies as in advanced ones.
The year 2020 has often been referred to as a milestone on the path to a better future. Many nations and cities have devised a ‘Vision 2020.’ The year is upon us. We look to the collective architectural imagination to meet this momentous occasion with creativity and courage.