La Biennale di Venezia has just announced in a press conference, live-streamed on April 12, that the 17th International Architecture Exhibition under the theme of “How will we live together?” curated by Hashim Sarkis, will open to the public from Saturday 22 May through Sunday 21 November 2021 at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and Forte Marghera. In addition, the preview will be held on 20 and 21 May.
Including 112 participants in competition from 46 countries, with 63 national participations in the Giardini, at the Arsenale, and in the historic city center of Venice, the international exhibition welcomes 4 countries, taking part in the Biennale for the first time, Grenada, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan Republic. With a growing delegation from Africa, Latin America, and Asia and with a comparable representation of men and women, this 17th International Architecture Exhibition is organized into 5 scales, three of which are exhibited in the Arsenale and two in the Central Pavilion. Moreover, a contribution by 5 international participating architects who have designed a project dedicated to children’s play, will be on exhibit at Forte Marghera.
- Among Diverse Beings
- As New Households
- As Emerging Communities
- Across Borders
- As One Planet
The current global pandemic has no doubt made the question that this Biennale Architettura is asking all the more relevant and timely, even if somehow ironic, given the imposed isolation. It may indeed be a coincidence that the theme was proposed a few months before the pandemic. However, many of the reasons that initially led us to ask this question - the intensifying climate crisis, massive population displacements, political instabilities around the world, and growing racial, social, and economic inequalities, among others - have led us to this pandemic and have become all the more relevant. -- Hashim Sarkis
This edition also includes a series of participations out of competition, such as Stations + Co-Habitats, researching into the five scales with relative case studies developed by researchers from universities around the world, the participation by the artist Michal Rovner in the Central Pavilion, the project by Studio Other Spaces which presents UN Assembly for the Future, How will we play sport together? an outdoor installation at the Giardini, and an installation by Giuseppe Penone at the Arsenale.
For the fifth consecutive year, La Biennale di Venezia and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present the Special Project at the Pavilion of Applied Arts (Arsenale, Sale d’Armi A) titled Three British Mosques. In collaboration with architect Shahed Saleem, the exhibition looks at the often undocumented do-it-yourself world of mosques adapted for this use.
We can no longer wait for politicians to propose a path towards a better future. As politics continue to divide and isolate, we can offer alternative ways of living together through architecture. The Biennale Architettura 2021 is motivated by new kinds of problems that the world is putting in front of architecture, but it is also inspired by the emerging activism of young architects and the radical revisions being proposed by the profession of architecture to take on these challenges. -- Hashim Sarkis
Read on to discover more details about the 17th International Architecture Exhibition.
The Collaboration with Biennale Danza
This year the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will intersect with the 15th International Festival of Contemporary Dance from 23 July to 1 August, hosting at the Arsenale, in the section of the Exhibition titled Among Diverse Beings, the installations and dancers-choreographers of the Biennale College. Under the mentorship of the artistic director of Biennale Danza Wayne McGregor, they will create short choreographic fragments, “snapshots” or “sketches” inspired by the signs, materials, and themes of the Architecture Exhibition.
A total of 17 Collateral Events have been approved by the Curator, promoted by national and international non-profit entities and institutions. Organized in various venues in the city of Venice, they present a broad spectrum of contributions and participations that enrich the pluralism of voices that distinguishes the Exhibition.
Meetings on Architecture
The program of the 17th Exhibition is complemented by the Meetings on Architecture, encounters with architects, scholars, and professionals from around the world. The protagonists will attempt to answer the question How will we live together? in a series of dialogues focusing on the new challenges that climate change brings to architecture, on the role of public space in the recent urban uprisings, on the new techniques of reconstruction and the changing forms of the collective building; on the architecture of education and the education of the architect, on the relationship between curating and architecture. The calendar of events will be announced soon on the website.
Biennale Sessions, the Project for the Universities
La Biennale again this year dedicates the Biennale Sessions project to Universities, Academies, and Institutes of Higher Education. The goal is to facilitate three-day self-organized visits for groups of at least 50 students and teachers, who will be assisted in organizing their journey and their stay and will be offered the possibility of organizing seminars to be held free of charge in the venues of the exhibition.
Over the past decade, La Biennale has given increasing importance to its educational aims, maturing a strong commitment with its “Educational” activities towards the audiences of the Exhibitions, the universities, young people, and children in schools of all levels. The Biennale Architettura 2018 and the Biennale Arte 2019 involved a total of 114,672 people, including 68,205 young participants in the Educational activities. For the year 2021, there will be a generous program offered to individuals and groups of students, children, adults, families, professionals, companies, and universities. All the initiatives pursue the active involvement of the participants and are conducted by personnel selected and trained by La Biennale. They are divided between Guided Tours and Workshop Activities.
The official catalog, titled How will we live together? consists of two volumes. Volume I, edited by Hashim Sarkis, is dedicated to the International Exhibition. Volume II is dedicated to the National Participations and the Collateral Events. The Exhibition Guide is conceived to accompany the visitor along the exhibition route. The publications also include two books in English, titled Co-Habitats and Expansions, which reflect on the themes developed in the Exhibition.