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Wael Al Awar: The Latest Architecture and News

UAE / Wetland Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2021 Venice Biennale

The United Arab Emirates has won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2021 Venice Biennale, with its contribution entitled Wetland curated by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto. Selected by a jury that consists of Kazuyo Sejima (president-Japan), Sandra Barclay (Peru), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Lesley Lokko (Ghana-Scotland), and Luca Molinari (Italy), the winning contribution at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale explores the local geography of the United Arab Emirates to find alternatives to cement, one of the key emitters of the world's carbon dioxide.

The award ceremony, broadcasted live on the Biennale’s official page also presented the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition How will we live together? to RAUMLABORBERLIN- Instances of Urban Practice while the Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition How will we live together? went to Border Ecologies and the Gaza Strip- Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST). Other recognitions included a special mention for the national participation of the Philippines and Russia, and to Cave_bureau for the Anthropocene Museum: Exhibit 3.0 Obsidian Rain.

© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE+ 20

9 On-Site Interviews with 2021 Venice Biennale Curators

After being postponed for one year, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale opened its doors to the public on May 22nd, 2021, revealing a wide range of answers to Hashim Sarkis’ question of "How will we live together". With over 112 participants from 46 countries, the contributions are organized into five themes: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet. Due to travel restrictions, many curators were unable to be physically present at the inauguration of the event, resorting to digital platforms for interviews and presentations. ArchDaily had the chance to physically attend the exhibition and meet with some of the curators to further explore their pavilions. The following are 9 interviews from ArchDaily’s Youtube playlists that feature these exclusive interviews.

5 National Pavilions at the 2021 Venice Biennale that Explore Sustainability and Climate Change

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale is currently unfolding, revealing a wide range of answers to the question "How will we live together". With 60 national pavilions, numerous contributions of invited architects from all around the world and several collateral events, this year's edition restates the Biennale's role as a platform for inquiry, exploration, and disruptive thinking in architecture. Curator Hashim Sarkis' original statement called upon architects "to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together." Recent circumstances have made the question even more relevant, prompting a holistic re-evaluation of how the world as a collective can face changes and challenges of an unprecedented scale from the disrupting role of technology, to inequality, mass migration and climate change. The following national contributions reflect on "how will we live together" amidst climate change, exploring ideas for a more sustainable future.

"Our Future Vernacular Could Be Our Industrial Waste": In Conversation with UAE Pavilion Curator Wael Al Awar at the 2021 Venice Biennale

With the inauguration of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, 60 nations from across the world showcased unique solutions to the question of “How will we live together”. Neither the pandemic nor its repercussions got in the way of the curators' creative process. Instead, they took it as a factor to explore how the notion of 'living together' has changed over the past year, and how they can reimagine better built environments. ArchDaily had the opportunity to meet with architect Wael Al Awar, one of the co-curators of the UAE Pavilion, to discuss how the pavilion's innovative material came to be and what it means for the future of architecture.

Courtesy of National Pavilion UAE La Biennale di Venezia. Photography by  Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITECourtesy of National Pavilion UAE La Biennale di Venezia. Photography by  Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITECourtesy of National Pavilion UAE La Biennale di Venezia. Photography by  Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITECourtesy of National Pavilion UAE La Biennale di Venezia. Photography by  Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE+ 11

UAE Pavilion Searches for Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Portland Cement

Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto, both principals of Dubai-based Waiwai design, have been appointed as the curators for the National Pavilion of the UAE at the 2021 Venice Biennale. Entitled Wetland, the exhibition presents an experimental solution to the critical environmental impact of the construction industry. The intervention will present a large-scale prototype structure created from an innovative, environmentally friendly cement made of recycled industrial waste brine. The exhibition will open to the public at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale from Saturday, May 22nd to Sunday, November 21st, 2021.

© Dina Al Khatib courtesy of waiwai© Dina Al Khatib courtesy of waiwaiArtwork by Farah Al Qasimi. Image © National Pavilion UAE - La Biennale di VeneziaArtwork by Farah Al Qasimi. Image © National Pavilion UAE - La Biennale di Venezia+ 15