- 2018 Architecture Biennale - not just exhibitions: Greenhouse Talks
The date with the Greenhouse Talks is one of the highlights of the Biennale's preview days. This is the third edition and it moved from the Giardini greenhouse to the InParadiso Café terrace overlooking the lagoon.
The conversation about LIMBO SPACES was led by architecture critic Aaron Betsky on Friday 25 May 2018 and involved some of the most active players in international architecture debate. It was a perfect run-up to this year's Architecture Biennale, inspired by its theme, FREESPACE and discussing the design of these in-between spaces as the real challenge for architects of tomorrow.
The conversationalists included the photographer Iwan Baan, architects Maria Claudia Clemente (Labics), Nathalie de Vries (MVRDV), Elizabeth Diller (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation, and newly appointed director of Columbia University GSAPP's advanced architectural design programme) and Marina Otero Verzier (director of research of Het Nieuwe Instituut and curator of the 2018 Dutch Pavilion).
The morning flew by as the panel shared their interpretations and responses to the question posed by Aaron Betsky, who was the director of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2008 and is currently the president of the School of Architecture at Taliesin: “In the spaces where we wait, tarry, or just while away the time, the strictures and structures of good architecture dissolve. What is the architecture of not-quite-free spaces, and how should we design what is meant to fade away?”
LIMBO SPACES are really common, they are so ingrained in our world under the banner of large flows - from refugees to digital nomads - that we don't even think of them as limbo spaces any more. From airports that, not surprisingly, offer more and more content for travellers, to waiting rooms and refugee camps, it's not so much the places that are in limbo, because they are actually real. Rather, we are the ones who turn them into in-between places, because we only there temporarily, to go back to the etymology of the world.
Not coincidentally, we really appreciated the very personal response of photographer Iwan Baan, whose photographs bring together architecture and urbanism from all over the world: “My life may seem adventurous as seen from the outside, as I travel to all these places. But in the end, I think I spend most of my time in these limbo spaces, in airports, in waiting rooms. It’s very interesting to see all these different limbo spaces around the world, and how specific they may be in the various countries or even continents.” In other words, LIMBO SPACE also has its own contextual connotation, so it's not as marginal and on the edge, if you take a really close look.
The Greenhouse Talks injected plenty of meaning into the concept of FREESPACE, the theme selected by the curators of the 16th Architecture Biennale, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara and elsewhere remaining too vague, confirming the importance of these collateral events for in-depth exploration.
offered by the Dutch Embassy in Rome in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut
organised by Image Media Agency
Images: Greenhouse Talks: Alberto Sinigaglia - courtesy of Image MEDIA AGENCY - Biennale: Italo Rondinella, Andrea Avezzù