Opened in the middle of September, Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2019 (TAB 2019) explores its theme "Beauty Matters" through all possible architectural means. Wood and textiles, 3D-printed structures and VR are only a few components of the main exhibition of the biennial, curated by Tel Aviv-born, London-based architect Yael Reisner.
As she describes her journey, Reisner has always been very eager to open up the discussion on beauty among architects, designers and anyone who is concerned about environments surrounding us: "If more people will aspire to beauty again, maybe architecture will change, maybe we will have better-looking streets, maybe we will understand that the core of architecture is aesthetics. Because the aesthetics are what is actually holding all the practical stuff and all the magical stuff together," she says.
To talk about beauty from the scientific point of view, Reisner has invited four scholars to advise her research and give lectures during the symposium at the opening of the biennial. Philosopher Graham Harman (USA), poetess Maria Lee (EST), mathematician Ron Aharoni (IL), and researcher Taylor Enoch (UK) told the audience about how beauty affects the human brain, what is mathematical beauty and how the desire for beauty is something we all share.
"There is no definition of beauty, just as with love. It's very hard to define love. What is love? What is it that you feel? But you know it's real. And beauty, just like love, is real." -- Yael Reisner
The curatorial exhibition, that focuses on the main topic through the lens of habitation, consists of eight installations that are combined into one experience. To sum up all the work done by participants in the preparation for the event, Yael Reisner has invited artist Paula Strunden to create a semi-VR experience that allows visitors to walk through all the projects.
Last October, Tallinn Architecture Biennale has launched an Open Call that invited architects to submit designs for the main installation, which would be located in front of the Tallinn Architecture Museum — the event's main venue. This year, a team from London won the competition with Steampunk Pavilion — a structure made of manually bent hardwood with the use of augmented reality. Read more about the project here.