“How will we live together?” the 17th International Architecture Exhibition organised by Biennale di Venezia was officially presented on 27 February in an event held via streaming in place of the usual presentation to the press, allowing everyone to participate in the name of a form of architecture that unites us all and overcoming the difficulties connected with the new coronavirus, covid-19.
Thus current affairs became a practical demonstration of the urgent need to find an answer to the question “How will we live together?” asked by the curator of the international exhibition, architect Hashim Sarkis.
In introducing the presentation, the outgoing Biennale di Venezia chairman Paolo Baratta announced his successor, Roberto Cicutto.
Paolo Baratta’s speech identified a constant theme shared with the previous international architecture exhibitions. He recalled how different curators have looked at issues from their own point of view and drawn attention, even beyond the world of architecture, not only to issues characteristic of the discipline but also and above all to architecture’s relationship with civil society. He acknowledged previous exhibitions’ merit of making us aware that architecture’s field of action is broad and dilated and that architects play a very important role in society, asked to come up with a response to a variety of shared and individual needs. “ Architecture makes us more aware individuals; it helps us become citizens, not just consumers; it stimulates us to consider the indirect effects of our actions; it helps us understand more fully the importance of public goods and of free goods. It helps us develop a more all-around vision of welfare.” said Paolo Baratta, adding that “l’Architecture helps us to conserve resources and to give ourselves a modicum of happiness.”
“How will we live together?”, the title of the 17th exhibition, is an open question, “as much a social and political question as a spatial one”, as Hashim Sarkis pointed out in his speech. 114 architects from 46 different countries will compete in the exhibition, which architect Hashim Sarkis says will feature numerous women architects as well as architects from Africa, Latin America and Asia. The exhibition focuses on the structural problems of contemporary society. From the sensation of living in a world driven by continual progress, we are now driven to consider ourselves victims of the changes it entails, as demonstrated by the situation in Italy at the moment. The phenomena of change now underway, and the great political and economic inequalities in different parts of the world, result in a need to rethink and make “adjustments” to the way we live. “We call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can live generously together,” says Hashim Sarkis. To do this, the curator explained that the architects invited to participate in the 2020 Architecture Biennale were asked to involve other professionals and work groups in their projects: artists, builders and craftspeople, but also politicians, journalists, social scientists, and ordinary citizens, so that their projects would be the product of extended awareness and widespread collaboration.
Images courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
Title: How will we live together? 17. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura Venezia
Curated by Hashim Sarkis
Date: 29 August to 29 November 2020 (pre-opening 27 and 28 August)
Location: Giardini della Biennale and Arsenale Exihibition Spaces, Venezia, Italy
Hashtag: #BiennaleArchitettura2020 #HowWillWeLiveTogether
Facebook: La Biennale di Venezia