Other than the contribution of national participations, the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale invites architects and researchers to exhibit their work between the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and Forte Marghera, seeking to answer the general theme of “How will we live together?”, set by curator Hashim Sarkis. With 113 Participants from 46 countries, and an increased representation from Africa, Latin America, and Asia, these architectural contributions underline worldwide and contextual challenges as well as present multidisciplinary and inventive solutions.
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, running from 22 May to 21 November 2021, divides these projects amongst the following titles: Co-Habitats, Stations, Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet, How Will We Play Together? After having explored the recurring qualities observed in the national pavilions, this feature highlights the rest of the interventions through the lens of Laurian Ghinitoiu.
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 -- Hashim Sarkis.
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"Showing how we do live together in Addis Ababa, the Azraq Refugee Camp, Beirut, Hong Kong, the India-Pakistan corridors, a Lagos squatter settlement compared to one in Cairo and another in Guadalajara, New York, Pristina, Rio de Janeiro, and the Sao Paulo area", Co-Habitats highlights contextual research work. From exploring conflicts of territorial existence to presenting case-based projects, this section is anchored in the urban conflicts of the world.
AMONG DIVERSE BEINGS
"Imagining spaces in which we can generously live together as human beings who, despite increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space". This section of the international exhibition showcases innovative approaches such as a new direction for probiotic buildings and multispecies architecture or a gathering place created by soaring floating columns and cloud-like canopies. The interventions go beyond simple and monodirectional systems and introduce hybrid environments, exploring the relationship among natural elements, technology, and living structures.
AS NEW HOUSEHOLDS
"Imagining spaces in which we can generously live together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation", the 2021 Venice Biennale also encourages architects to imagine new material cultures, rethinking the physical substrate for living together on the level of the household and habitat. From biotechnological architecture to reinterpreting basic building blocks, this section examines all the components that would generate a household.
AS EMERGING COMMUNITIES
"Imagining spaces in which we can generously live together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion, and spatial identity", As Emerging Communities pushes the boundaries of learning from each other. In fact, in this section, the exhibitions explore a design process based on several principles: nature, communities, context, etc. Some projects tackle life beyond earth whereas others focused on the “New Normal", asking how can technology save us?
"Imagining spaces in which we can generously live together across political borders to imagine new geographies of association", Across Borders tackles worldwide challenges such as climate change or preservation of heritage, through different angles. Some interventions in this section study the possibility of repurposing plastic bags to help build a more inclusive, regenerative world that imagines a fossil fuel-free future, while others question refugee camps and their history.
AS ONE PLANET
"Imagining spaces in which we can generously live together as a planet facing crises that require global action for all of us to continue living at all", this section looks at the globe as a whole. Some perceive an architecture, as the earth is constantly metamorphosing, others crack open the world, we think we know, seeking to reveal other possibilities located somewhere between reality and speculation.
We invite you to check out ArchDaily's comprehensive coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, and watch our official playlist on Youtube featuring exclusive interviews with architects and curators of the Biennale.