Architecture – HOW WILL WE LIVE TOGETHER?, the main theme of Venice Biennale 2021 explores the role of architecture in shaping our common future. “We are asking architects this question because we are not happy with the answers that are coming out of politics today.” Says the curator Hashim Sarkis. “We need a new spatial contract.”
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Open to the public from 22 May to 21 November, the curator’s main exhibition at the Arsenale and in the central pavilion at Giardini showcases projects dealing with growing social and economic inequality, climate change, the pandemic, widening political divides other pivotal issues. The selected projects range from a planetary scale to a single person’s living space and our relations with other species.
On-show projects by internationally acclaimed studios. In response to the increased violence in the historical Mapuche-Chilean conflict, ELEMENTAL presents a wooden parley where to meet to settle differences and discuss terms for an armistice. Other leading studios are Alison Brook Architects, OMA, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and more.
The selection includes projects from around the world. Lina Ghotmeh, a Paris-based architect who grew up in Lebanon, presents her concrete residential tower in Beirut that nods to Lebanon’s history of war and violence while creating community; Somatic Collaborative addresses over construction in the Amazon. From unplanned conglomerations of buildings in rural China to barrios in Venezuela, Hashim Sarkis’ biennale invites for a world tour of responsible architecture.
“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.” Explains Hashim Sarkis.
“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.”
All photos by Marco Zorzanello, unless stated otherwise – courtesy of Venice Biennale 2021.