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The Pavilion of the Netherlands at the 2021 Venice Biennale Deconstructs Typical Public Spaces

The Pavilion of the Netherlands at the 2021 Venice Biennale Deconstructs Typical Public Spaces

Titled "Who is We", the Pavilion of the Netherlands at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia deconstructs normal concepts of space, visualizing what is often overlooked behind the structures that typically define urban spaces. Curated by a team led by Francien van Westrenen, the pavilion will be on display from 22 May to 21 November 2021.

Portraits of Soil Praxis, Debra Solomon/Urbaniahoeve, 2020 in collaboration with ... the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest soil organism, (Mama Aisa Island, 30x30cm). Image © Debra SolomonPortraits of Soil Praxis, Debra Solomon/Urbaniahoeve, 2016 in collaboration with ... the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest soil organism (Mama Aisa Island, 30x30cm) . Image © Debra SolomonThe Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest, in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis . Image © Johannes SchwarzRadical Observation, Juan Arturo García, 2020 in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis. Image © Juan Arturo Garcia+ 7

To answer the question of ‘How will we live together?’, the pavilion of the Netherlands explains that current social and environmental circumstances demand that architects and urbanists regard ‘we’ as a "more pluralized pronoun that encompasses all humans and more-than-humans such as soil, plants and animals". And although the knowledge and approach required for this transformation have been defined in the past, they are largely marginalized by the architectural canon.

Space of Other, 2019, Afaina de Jong & Innavisions,© CX Casulo. Image Courtesy of Wozen Studio Lisbon
Space of Other, 2019, Afaina de Jong & Innavisions,© CX Casulo. Image Courtesy of Wozen Studio Lisbon

As social and ecological urgencies demand immediate care and action, Who is We? is an empathic plea against homogeneity and monoculture. Differences and plurality create the relationships and interactions essential to build resilient societies and cities. -- Francien van Westrenen, Head of Agency at Het Nieuwe Instituut and the curator of the pavilion


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Inspired by De Jong's Multiplicity of Other and a performance space titled Space of Other, the curating team deconstruct normative concepts of space and examine how public spaces that require dance, music, or poetry create a dialogue between the user and the architecture. Debra Solomon, one of the pavilion's contributing architects, promotes Multispecies Urbanism as a solution for inter-species urban developments. she shares methodologies such as "Radical Observation, soil chromatograms, and rhizotrons" to produce environmentally-conscious urban landscapes in the form of public space food forests.

The Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest, Johannes Schwarz, 2020 in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis . Image © Johannes Schwarz
The Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest, Johannes Schwarz, 2020 in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis . Image © Johannes Schwarz

In addition to the research tools and methodologies, the pavilion displays public research program titled Values for Survival, developed by the Chief Science Officer for the city of Amsterdam, Professor Dr. Caroline Nevejan. The program correlates fields of knowledge, design, and policy, inspiring cities to make a decisive actions regarding climate change.

Portraits of Soil Praxis, Debra Solomon/Urbaniahoeve, 2020 in collaboration with ... the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest soil organism, (Mama Aisa Island, 30x30cm). Image © Debra Solomon
Portraits of Soil Praxis, Debra Solomon/Urbaniahoeve, 2020 in collaboration with ... the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest soil organism, (Mama Aisa Island, 30x30cm). Image © Debra Solomon
Radical Observation, Juan Arturo García, 2020 in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis. Image © Juan Arturo Garcia
Radical Observation, Juan Arturo García, 2020 in collaboration with Urbaniahoeve and the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest Community of Praxis. Image © Juan Arturo Garcia

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "The Pavilion of the Netherlands at the 2021 Venice Biennale Deconstructs Typical Public Spaces" 17 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/961824/the-netherlands-pavilion-at-the-2021-venice-biennale-deconstructs-typical-public-spaces> ISSN 0719-8884

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