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Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as "How Will We Live Together?"

Italy Architecture News - Jul 17, 2019 - 00:14   2242 views

Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as

The President of Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta, together with the curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Hashim Sarkis, have announced theme for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as "How will we live together?".

Announced at a press meeting yesterday, the theme will delve into a special context of "widening political divides and growing economic inequalities" as well as helping architects to "imagine spaces in which we can generously live together".

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 will open its doors from May 23rd to November 29th, 2020 at the Giardini and the Arsenale, as well as around other venues in Venice, Italy

Baratta and Sarkis highlighted that the theme will reevaluate the "overlooked role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract while enhancing the boundaries of living together in both real and digital era. 

Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as

Paolo Baratta, president of Venice Biennale, and Hashim Sarkis. Image courtesy of Venice Biennale

"We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together," said Hashim Sarkis. 

"Together as human beings who, despite our increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space; together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation." 

"Together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion and spatial identity; together across political borders to imagine new geographies of association; and together as a planet facing crises that require global action for us to continue living at all," added Sarkis.

Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as

Hashim Sarkis. Image © Bryce Vickmark

"Venice Biennale 2020 will expand our horizon to all the issues raised by our living together"

"Living together means first and foremost awareness of potential crises and old and new problems that do not get appropriate solutions, nor often appropriate attention, in the spontaneous development of our economies and societies and that require enhanced attention and an extensive and courageous planning capacity," said Paolo Baratta.

"A significant dualism is emerging in the world. The divide between present housing conditions and the conditions we advocate is qualitatively different in the different parts of the earth. In a large area of the planet the living space issue is still to be considered in  its traditional and elementary components (spaces to take refuge, to live in, to guarantee adequate housing conditions, public spaces)." 

"Other parts of the world are going through new phases of development in which the conditions for production, labour organisation and exchanges, the organisation of society, communities and households are changing, or have already changed, moving towards realities that are different, sometimes dramatically different, from those for which the recent territorial, urban and building developments had been designed and realised," added Baratta.

Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as

Arsenale. Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of Venice Biennale

Baratta also added: "we expect from Hashim Sarkis’ research and from the individual participating countries a number of examples that besides informing us on the different realities and the current trends and conflicts, can let us imagine a world at work to face those issues, and in particular a world of architecture committed to thinking, imagining and realising new solutions."

"Being aware that in different parts of the world we are developing this new consciousness and are working for these new projects is in itself part of a different “living together” for which La Biennale offers itself as the ideal place."

2020 Venice Biennale will be as a milestone on the path to a better future

The pair also described the year of 2020 as a milestone on the path to a better future. Sarkis explained that many nations and cities have devised a "Vision 2020." 

"The year is upon us. We look to the collective architectural imagination to meet this momentous occasion with creativity and courage," continued Sarkis. 

The architects invited to participate in Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 are encouraged to engage other professions and constituencies—artists, builders, and craftspeople, but also politicians, journalists, social scientists, and everyday citizens. 

"In parallel, Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 also maintains that it is in its material, spatial, and cultural specificity that architecture inspires the ways we live together. In that respect, we ask the participants to highlight those aspects of the main theme that are uniquely architectural."

Hashim Sarkis announces theme for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 as

Arsenale. Image © Giulio Squillacciotti, courtesy of Venice Biennale

The curators of the national participations are called upon to address one or more of the sub-themes of the exhibition. The need for more inclusive social housing and equipment or for more connective urban and territorial tissue remains as pressing in emerging economies as in advanced ones.

As usual, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will also present the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the Pavilions at the Giardini and the Arsenale, as well as around the historic city centre of Venice.

This edition will also include selected Collateral Events, presented by international institutions, which will organise their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the 17th Exhibition.

Top image: Paolo Baratta, president of Venice Biennale, and Hashim Sarkis. Image courtesy of Venice Bienna

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