Architecture, technology – The pandemic we have been experiencing over the last months has clearly shown how heavily dependent we have become on platforms in our everyday lives and how much the use of platforms has changed our environment. WE LIKE, AUSTRIA PLATFORM, the exhibition at the Austrian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, explores the side effects of platform urbanism.
- RELATED STORIES: Read more about Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 on Archipanic…
Curators Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer present a series of analyses designed to inspire us to engage with and take part in these changes. Indeed, PLATFORM AUSTRIA sees itself as a platform of active engagement with the question of the future of the city and its architecture. “Cities are increasingly coming under pressure due to the rise of platforms and are the biggest market for the recycling of data which are systematically harnessed and re-utilised,” says the curators to Archipanic.
With Saskia Sassen, for example, they explore how technology firms are drastically changing life in global cities. With Edgar Pieterse, the director of the African Centre for Cities, they track the advance of digital platforms into African cities. With the urban researcher Vyjayanthi Rao they study the self-initiated public platforms that support social life in the undersupplied areas of Mumbai. With the architecture studio run by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, they try out educational platforms in the American-Mexican border region.
Two sections, in particular, show the impact of platforms on our lives and our cities. ACCESS IS THE NEW CAPITAL poses relevant questions: Who gains access to the possibilities offered by a platform and who is denied these services? Are we heading for a new class society in which differently equipped variants of urban space can be rented with different subscription packages?
THE PLATFORM IS MY BOYFRIEND section explores the seductive promise of proximity, intimacy and community of dating apps and social networks. Affective computing and the personification of tech gadgets motivate us to form close ties to intelligent objects and platform environments. All this turns platforms into personal companions that help to communicate, record and evaluate our emotions – while extracting considerable profits. Can we really trust likes, followers and smileys as we trust our loved ones?
All photos: courtesy of Austria Pavilion.
- RELATED STORIES: Discover more Austrian architecture and design on Archipanic…