Biennale Architettura 2016

Reporting From The Front: the International Exhibition with 88 participants, 65 National Participations, 3 Special Projects, and 20 Collateral Events

Step Inside the National Pavilions

Chile - Biennale Architettura 2016

Against the Tide presents the efforts of a generation of young architects who have conceived, designed, and constructed works of architecture, while also handling financing and contracting for them, in order to earn their professional certification. All they have in common is that they belong to the Central Valley of Chile, where they have returned following their academic training to contribute to their communities, creating architectures which trace a filigree of places where the region’s campesinos and their families can live and work. These architectures have been erected with minimal resources, with the residues of agricultural processes and with readily available local materials, contributing value and inserting the territory into a global context through a regional—but not a costumbrista—approach. Out of this rural landscape and environment, in constant transformation due to agricultural activity and urban development, there emerges a series of pavilions, rest stops, miradors, lunch shelters, and plazas, or simply places for shade and social encounter, ephemeral or permanent, explicit of abstract. Against the Tide speaks of a contrary direction that things can take. This exhibition moves against the tide of those urban battles—perhaps more global in scope—waged to improve the quality of our built environment. It puts the accent rather on the customs and landscapes of the rural world, a world of fields and forests, helping through architecture to improve the everyday quality of life of its people.

Ireland - Biennale Architettura 2016

Losing Myself is the Irish entry to the Biennale Architettura 2016. The project is a collaboration between Niall McLaughlin and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, exploring dementia, architectural representation and the contrast between the architect's intention for a building and its subsequent inhabitation. Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia, one of a range of conditions that progressively degrade the synaptic connections within our brains. The condition erodes the ability to plan and to remember. It becomes gradually harder to situate yourself and to navigate your way in the world: two capacities central to the experience of architecture. We have worked for a decade, designing buildings for people with dementia. Losing Myself is a reflective report on the lessons we have learnt during this experience. We have been invited to represent Ireland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition. Our response to the brief for the 2016 Biennale – Reporting from the Front – is an immersive installation in Venice that attempts to reflect on our own experience as architects working to ‘improve the quality of life while working on the margins, under tough circumstances, facing pressing challenges’. We have chosen the medium of a time-based projected drawing to embody our ideas. The drawing will reflect upon the way in which the human mind constructs intertwined representations of situation and memory: what the poet Philip Larkin calls ‘the million-petaled flower/Of being here.’ This website is a repository for our research. We are striving to expand our understanding and inform our practice, in the life of this project and into the future. Here, we will document a series of interdisciplinary conversations with experts across a range of fields – neuroscientists, psychologists, health workers, philosophers and anthropologists – as well as people with dementia and their families. We will collate stories of personal interactions with dementia. We will also record the process of developing our central Venice installation: drawing and making in collaboration with others. This mosaic of information is aimed not only at architects, but at anyone working in the field of dementia and individuals who deal with the condition day to day. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council. Losing Myself is supported by Culture Ireland; the Arts Council; the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; Online Reprographics and RTÉ Archives. To contact us, or to contribute a story: info@losingmyself.ie

Italy - Biennale Architettura 2016

Taking Care - Designing for the common good Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016 With TAKING CARE – Designing for the Common Good, the TAMassociati curatorial team is developing the theme of architecture as a social art and an instrument in the service of the community, ensuring its access to the common goods. Our reflection is embodied in an initial theoretical section (“Thinking”). Then a double section in the middle presents good architectural and social practices that give visible form to the idea of the Common Good (“Meeting”). Finally there is an explicit call to action in favor of communities in degraded and marginal areas (“Acting”). The catalogue and the media that recount the curatorial project use original and immediate displays and methods of communication. Taking Care - Progettare per il bene comune Padiglione Italia alla Biennale Architettura 2016 Con TAKING CARE – Progettare per il Bene Comune, il team curatoriale TAMassociati sviluppa il tema dell’architettura come arte sociale e strumento al servizio della collettività e del suo accesso ai beni comuni. La riflessione si articola in una parte teorica iniziale (‘Pensare’), una doppia sezione – nel mezzo – di buone pratiche architettoniche e sociali che danno forma visibile all’idea di Bene Comune (‘Incontrare’) e, per concludere, si apre in un esplicito invito all’azione a favore delle comunità nelle zone di degrado e marginalità (‘Agire’). Il catalogo e gli strumenti che raccontano il progetto curatoriale utilizzano impianti e metodi di comunicazione inediti e immediati.

Russia - Biennale Architettura 2016

The main theme of the Russian Pavilion at XV International Architectural Bienniale in Venice in 2016 is VDNKH (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) – not only the past and heritage of The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, but also the present and future of the huge park, a lot of exhibition pavilions and the strategy of developing the territory with an aim to make it one of the main cultural platforms in Moscow. Basic facts about VDNKH and The Russian Pavilion in Venice: VDNKH years of construction - 1935-1955 Over 1000 of artists and architects took part in construction, building and decoration of VDNKH. The territory of VDNKH expands 237,5 ha which is 39,5 times bigger than total area of Giardini La Biennale di Venezia where Venetian Biennale takes place which is only 6 ha. Heritage of VDNH is 49 cultural facilities and 67 exhibition pavilions vs 30 pavilions of Giardini La Biennale di Venezia. Attendance of VDNKH about 24 000 000 individuals per year which is close to the number of tourists visiting Venice annualy. The Russian Pavilion is situated at central alley of Giardini La Biennale di Venezia - one of the most visited places during the Biennale. Retrospective exhibition about VDNKH seems to be not very much interesting for professional visitors of architechtural biennale due to its simplicity, since it shows only historical and architectural heritage of the place. In this regards main objective of the exposition is reconsideration of VDNH philosophical concept as an existing model of the ideal world and the search of an answer to a question “What is an ideal world (now)? / What represents the ideal world today?” This idea allows to find a new angle for contemplation of the past, the present and the future of VDNKH. Throughout the history of a mankind people seek to create an ideal world around themselves, whether it is a palace, a garden or an ideal society. The idea of ideal world significantly changes over time depending on a set of factors. The exposition doesn't give a definite answer, and, contrary, suggests the visitor to think of that represents the modern ideal world.

Turkey - Biennale Architettura 2016

Darzanà is a project about frontier infringement and on hybridity. It challenges the increasing confinement within borders of religion, language, race, nationality, ethnicity and gender. The project highlights the common cultural and architectural heritage shared between the arsenals of Istanbul and Venice. For the Biennale Architettura 2016, a last vessel, Baştarda, has been constructed out of abandoned materials found in the old dockyard of Istanbul and transported to Venice to suggest a new connection in Mediterranean. The project title Darzanà means dockyard and it is a hybrid word, like the Turkish word tersane and the Italian word arsenale. These words are derived or distorted from the same root, the Arabic dara’s-sina’a (place of industry). They all originate from the common language that developed in the Mediterranean from the 11th to the 19th century among people such as sailors, travellers, merchants, and warriors. Known as Lingua Franca, this was a shared language when Mediterranean was the main vessel connecting the surrounding cultures. In the same vein, it is possible to talk of a common architectural language and to define it as Architectura Franca. Despite their very different identities and populations today, Venice and Istanbul once both featured considerable dockyards of similar sizes and production. The common core of these dockyards was the shipsheds called “volti” in Italian and “göz” in Turkish. The shipshed is the building block of a shared architectural heritage; its proportions grow out of the dimensions of boats and of common building technologies. Darzanà links a shipshed of İstanbul with a shipshed of Venice by a vessel. For the project Darzanà, a last vessel, Baştarda was built earlier this year at an abandoned shipshed at the Haliç dockyards in Istanbul. Similar to Darzanà, Baştarda is also a hybrid word. Derived from bastardo, Baştarda is a cross between a galley and a galleon and is propelled by oars and sails. As a symbol of Mediterranean hybridity, Baştarda creates a bridge between the two shipyards, one left to rot away in the megacity of Istanbul, the other springing to life only at certain times of the year in the museum-city that is Venice. Darzanà’s main theme raises the question of whether it is possible to transform borders, fronts and other spaces of conflict into thresholds and spaces of consensus. In this vein, Baştarda becomes a vessel of frontier infringement. She came to Venice, and she will eventually go back to Istanbul, travelling back and forth, just as the languages, the architectural forms, and people of the Mediterranean, have done throughout history. Reporting from Darzanà, one can announce the futility of demarcations on the seas and in between the words.

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The official Collateral Events of Biennale Architettura 2016

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice - Biennale Architettura 2016

Curatorial Statement: Stratagems of Architecture [建築兵法] Our society is constantly evolving since its existence. For decades, Hong Kong has been dominated by progressive development to sustain our city’s economic growth, from a fishing village to a light industrial city, and eventually became one of the top financial cities in the world. For generations, economical progression became the golden rule of success and it is the largest driving force to move forward. “Social Fact” is a term created by the father of sociologist Emile Durkheim as to indicate the social patterns that are external to individuals. Social facts can be social norms, moral values, customs, conventions, rules and other social structures exist outside individuals. At the basis of the term lies the perception of the individual grossly conditioned by social realities that form the “Boundaries of Accepted Behavior”, but these boundaries are not static. Each generation will derive their own set of norms and values based on their particular Social Practice. For our new generation, the moral value is shifting from progressive development to reflexive, more concern on civil society, civil right, minority Interest, fairness, localization, social enterprise, and sustainable life, and that forms the bottom-line of the new generation. In some area, this bottom-line is collided with the current “Boundaries of Accepted Behavior”. It creates the condition for the changes. Mary Douglas further explained this changes as breaking of rules or norms by looking for “Binary Opposition and Possibilities”, the rule breakers are standing at the liminal stage or have already gone beyond them. All margins are dangerous, if they are pulled this way or that the shape of fundamental experience is altered. Any system of ideas is vulnerable at its boundary; it is our “Frontier”, as known as the “Battleground”. Each of our young exhibitors is unique and having their own characteristics on architectural design or art creation with the new moral value and they are the new driving force of our society. They understand the latest trend and equipped with advance technology. During their practice as an architect or an artist, they are consistently facing difficulties with their creation in order to survive. In response to our curatorial statement regarding the definition of our “Frontier” [Battleground], they will be looking into the Thirty-Six Stratagems and select one stratagem to demonstrate how he or she would success in their own Battleground at the Frontier of architecture or art. We want to hear their stories and their approach to the social responsibility, by reducing the gap between the private demands and public needs in the field of architecture and art. The ancient Chinese war strategies are often referring to modern business strategies and published not only in China but translated into foreign languages and published worldwide as bestsellers. The Thirty-Six Stratagems [三十六計] was a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics, war, and civil interaction. The Thirty-Six Stratagems are divided into a preface, six chapters containing six stratagems each, and an afterword. The first three chapters generally describe tactics for use in advantageous situations, whereas the last three chapters contain stratagems that are more suitable for disadvantageous situations. Each proverb is accompanied by a short comment, no longer than a sentence or two that explains how the said proverb is applicable to military tactics. These thirty-six Chinese proverbs are related to thirty-six battle scenarios in Chinese history and folklore, predominantly of the Warring States period and the Three Kingdoms Period. The Thirty-Six Stratagems consists of 6 chapters and each chapter consists of 6 stratagems; Chapter 1: Winning Stratagems [勝戰計], Chapter 2: Enemy Dealing Stratagems [敵戰計], Chapter 3: Attacking Stratagems [攻戰計], Chapter 4: Chaos Stratagems [混戰計], Chapter 5: Proximate Stratagems [並戰計] and Chapter 6: Desperate Stratagems [敗戰計].