PLATFORM AUSTRIA, Austria at the 2021 Biennale Architettura

Peter Mörtenböck, Helge Mooshammer,

Venice Biennale,

PLATFORM AUSTRIA is the name of Austria’s contribution to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at Biennale di Venezia. In response to the growing influence of the digital world on our real lives and the way we live, the Austrian pavilion will be a platform for debate about how we imagine architecture and above all urban planning in the future.

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PLATFORM AUSTRIA, Austria at the 2021 Biennale Architettura "How will we live together” in a world in which many aspects of our daily lives, such as how we work, learn, do our shopping, meet and socialise are becoming harder and harder to imagine without digital platforms, especially now that the process of digitalisation has been speeded up by the pandemic that has changed our lives so rapidly? 
These platforms are changing the way we live, with a significant impact on the design of our cities. And so historic urban structures and public institutions and consolidated forms of social organisation are increasingly under pressure, as careful long-term planning now comes up against short-term responses to citizens’ desires in a "city on demand". Many experts believe digital platforms offer the answer, in which people’s participation plays an important role. 
On the basis of this theory, the curators of the Austrian pavilion at the 2021 Biennale Architettura, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, reclaim the right to co-determination of the parameters of future development. Their exhibition opens with a space for discussion addressing the changes guided by urban planning of platforms, because in many projects, especially on an urban scale, citizens’ participation has become an integral part of the planning process.
To create the exhibition PLATFORM AUSTRIA, the curators set up a blog in which they invited national and international experts to present their contributions regarding various aspects of the urban planning of platforms. Now their work, with teasers focusing on a number of themes, is presented on the social media channels and in the newsfeed of the web site www.platform-austria.org, inviting everyone, including themselves, to interpret and understand it.
The Austrian pavilion’s choice is dictated partly by the context in which we are living due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in view of the growing importance of integrating forms of content presented online and locally. 
In turn, some of the bloggers the curators invited to participate in the exhibition reflect on those who interact with the urban planning platform and how, seeking answers to questions such as: who wins and who loses, in this kind of development? What constellations of players, technologies and values are involved? In this way, we can trace a complex, variegated image of the processes through which social life is remodelled in our cities. 
The forum will also discuss which alternatives we can explore with digital platforms, in addition to online shopping, the gig economy and meeting apps, in search of a new urban form that is more appropriate for the way we live.
Both wings of the Austrian Pavilion in the Giardini at Biennale di Venezia offer a vast video installation allowing visitors to experience the analyses conducted in person. Visual studies of how urban planning projects created through digital platforms work will also be presented.
PLATFORM AUSTRIA therefore sets up a global network available to all interested parties providing a shared theoretical foundation for reconsidering and rethinking our cities. Floornature will be attending the preview on May 20 and 21, to present our initial impressions and interview the curators.

Christiane Bürklein

Austrian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of Biennale di Venezia
Commissioner: Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport – Division Arts and Culture; Curators: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer
May 22 through November 21, 2021
Giardini della Biennale, Venezia
For more information: https://www.platform-austria.org/en/info/visit


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