“We need a new spatial contract. In a context characterised by ever-larger political differences and ever-greater economic inequalities, we ask architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together”.
It was with these strong words that architect Hashim Sarkis presented the title and theme of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, which he will curate for the 2020 Venice Biennale. On the other hand, Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta, presenting the successor of architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, as the new curator of the International Architecture Exhibition, had made it clear that, in his role, Hashim Sarkis would be particularly sensitive to those issues and emergencies that society poses in terms of human living. With his firm, Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS), the Lebanese-born architect has indeed distinguished himself at a professional level in the field of social and residential housing in particular.
Freespace, the title of the 16th International Exhibition curated by architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, brought the concept of free and costless space to international attention, space which even in an unintentional way or not by the architect's design, was able to create a relationship between people and architecture. The 2020 Architecture Biennale curated by Hashim Sarkis will instead focus on pressing issues relating to living together and on the wide range of related problems.
A very interesting theme, which gives architecture and architects a central role in offering solutions that have the potential to improve contemporary life and society. The exhibition is expected to be a source of inspiration for the different ways in which human beings live together. The architectsâ' task is indeed to answer the question that is also the theme of the exhibition: “How will we live together?”.
Architect Hashim Sarkis broke down and clarified the multiple meanings of the word “together”, identifying five essential points:
“together as human beings who, despite growing individuality, wish to connect with each other and with other species in both the digital and the real space;
together as new families, seeking more diverse and dignified living spaces;
together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion and spatial identity;
together, transcending political boundaries to imagine new associative geographies;
together as a planet intent on facing the various crises that require “global action, so that we can continue to live.”
The architects invited to participate in the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will be able to answer these questions by engaging professional figures close to the world of architecture - such as artists, builders, artisans - as well as politicians, journalists, sociologists and every day people, as encouraged by both the organisers and the curator.
The International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale will therefore offer an opportunity to find out how architects in various parts of the world are tackling the problem, well aware that a huge gap exists between real and desirable living conditions and that the changed conditions of production and organisation of the working world, as well as of society, have inevitable repercussions on communities and families.
Title: How will we live together? 17th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia
curated by Hashim Sarkis
Date: May 23 to November 29, 2020
Location: Arsenale and Giardini Pavilions, Venice, Italy
Images courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia Photo by Andrea Avezzù, Jacopo Salvi, Giulio Squillacciotti.
Official hashtags: #BiennaleArchitettura2020 #HowWillWeLiveTogether
Facebook: La Biennale di Venezia