STIRring Together: Best of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

STIR brings you a series of articles that chronicle the best of digital and physical exhibitions at this year’s edition of the Biennale Architettura 2021.

by Devanshi ShahPublished on : Apr 22, 2021

Spaces are an extension of the human body. We are constantly trying to find ways to personalise the space we use, from our homes to our workspaces. It is the constant attempt to rationalise the relationship between the human experience and the spatial experience that often leads to creative and unique design solutions. But what happens when we have to share our space? And more importantly, how has our understanding of space changed over the last year because of the pandemic and global lockdowns. Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 is a response to the various scales of togetherness that we experience as a collective.

On May 22, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition titled "How will we live together?" will open its doors to the public in Venice. On April 12, in a globally streamed press conference, Roberto Cicutto, President of La Biennale di Venezia, reminded the audience saying, “Do not think that downtimes are useless, downtime can be very important in understanding what we had to do, what we will have to do and what is the objective of our actions”.  Converging the many creative conversations, wondrous works and explorations that have occurred during this downtime and testing times, and talking to the forces behind these powerful creations, we bring you STIRring Together: a STIR series that journeys along with the event together with Venice and the world.

Hashim Sarkis, the curator of Biennale Architettura 2021, outlines an expanded programme that would supplement the physical installations. Sarkis also mentions how this year’s theme has extra significance. “It has transformed the biennale from an event into an experiment, a process, and an open discussion and a true collaboration in the spirit of the theme. The expanded and inclusive platform would not have been possible had we not lost this past year,” he says.  

Tracing these adaptations and following the multitude of perspectives, the STIRring Together series carefully curates some incredible projects and exhibits, highlighting the diversity and many discourses of the show. These will be seen through the lens of the five scales identified by Sarkis. The collective is explored through the dimensions of living together: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet.

Curated as a series of thoughtful engagements that enhance the contemporary debate and discussion on architecture, STIRing Together introduces you to the many facets of the Venice Architecture Biennale, which brings together over 46 countries and 114 participants from diverse disciplines. With a robust creator lineup with names such as former Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena, and Superflux (London) and a multi-scaled dialogue, ranging from climate change to growing political polarisation, and vast global inequalities, the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 promises to turn the focus from uncertainty to optimism.

Over a multi-part series of articles spanning the course of the programme, STIR will bring together inspiring ideas from the International Exhibition, the National Pavilions, Co-habitates and Collateral Events to highlight the most poignant and stirring conversations.

1: STIRring Together: What to expect at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

Central Pavilion Giardini | Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 | STIRRING Together | STIRworld
Central Pavilion Giardini Image: Francesco Galli, Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

With a robust participatory outline and multi-scaled dialogue, the Biennale Architettura 2021, curated by Hashim Sarkis, promises to turn the focus from uncertainty to optimism.

2: STIRring Together: Venice Architecture Biennale awards Special Golden Lion

Lina Bo Bardi at the SESC Pompeia auditorium (L), Casa de Vidro (R)| The Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, in memoriam, Biennale Architettura 2021 | Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 | STIRRING Together | STIRworld
Lina Bo Bardi at the SESC Pompeia auditorium (L), Casa de Vidro (R) Image: Bob Wolfenson(L), Leonardo Finotti(R), Courtesy of Instituto Bardi/ Casa de Vidro

Lina Bo Bardi was posthumously awarded the Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in memoriam, acknowledging her work in showcasing the power of architecture to bring people together.

Watch this space for more.

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