“Accepting that the territory is fragile and transforming this awareness into a design force”: this is the powerful and concise message left behind by the third edition of the Pisa Architecture Biennale, held in the Tuscan city at the Arsenali Repubblicani complex from November 21 to December 1, 2019. An event conceived and organised by the Associazione Culturale LP Laboratorio Permanente per la città, directed this third edition by architect Alfonso Femia.
"It was a success", commented Alfonso Femia, director of the Biennale at the end of the initiative, which transformed Pisa into an international architecture centre for ten days and saw wide participation in all the scheduled events.
“Timeofwater - Water as dimension of Time”: the theme of this edition of the Biennale, developed through diverse initiatives involving meetings with sixty guests, twenty talks, four exhibitions and two awards handed out, six Fuori Biennale events, eight lectio magistralis and six international special guests.
In Pisa’s scenic Arsenali Repubblicani complex, the “Pangea” space designed by Alfonso Femia hosted the meetings between architects, urban planners, designers and artists, to take stock of a fundamental aspect of climate change, the most tangible and worrying aspect of the phenomenon: the behaviour of water in relation to time.
To address this important theme, the organisers and the director of the Biennale decided to innovate the formula of the event, subverting the traditional practice that always sees the story of emergencies and critical issues at the centre of attention. Climate change was therefore looked at and discussed from a different perspective, using a proactive approach to present a possible future to visitors and participants.
This new dynamic and interactive formula of the Biennale was put into practice with ten days of talks, lectures and exhibitions. The talks were the very heart of the event, presenting sixty visions of the future to the public, through eight project themes. The themes discussed ranged from Art and Architecture to Blue Design for an in depth look at design, Regards with guests from the world of photography, Geographies of Water, Dialogue with time, Mediterranean for a look at the regions of Southern Italy, Cityofwater focused on the theme of urban water and Everything is landscape a Fuori Biennale event dedicated to landscape design. The lectures included a look at the exciting design research carried out by French-Portuguese architect Didier Fiuza Faustino, who became interested in the neonomadism induced by climate change and the consequent need to invent new ways of living and coexisting. Urban Design and Landscape architecture Maarten van de Voorde, on the other hand, presented the innovative approach of his West 8 studio, inviting participants to accept the fragility of the territory with the awareness that any intervention aimed at forcing natural elements does not provide permanent solutions, but, instead increases the levels of risk.
The Pisa Biennale was only the beginning of this journey: Timeofwater was not concluded, but continues through 2020. Alfonso Femia and the Ateliertempodacqua working group will continue to develop the cultural project focused on the theme of water and architecture, raising awareness of the important issues at hand through the dedicated website tempodacqua.com.
Images courtesy of Biennale di Architettura di Pisa Tempodacqua www.tempodacqua.com
photos by © Stefano Anzini
Biennale di Pisa - III edizione
un progetto culturale / a cultural project by
LP Laboratorio Permanente per la Città
Title: Tempodacqua - l'acqua dimensione del Tempo / Timeofwater Water as dimension of Time
direttore / director Alfonso Femia
Location: Pisa, Arsenali Repubblicani
Date: 21.11 - 01.12.2019