Venice Biennale 2016

Curator Alejandro Aravena: Battle for the Higher Quality of the Built Environment

Curator Alejandro Aravena and the president of the Biennale Paolo Barotto discussed the themes of this year’s Biennale in a press conference on Thursday 27th of May. According to Aravena, he wants the exhibition to serve something for three kinds of visitors. Aravena wants to inspire other architects of creative solutions despite scarce resources, for decision makers he wants to show empowering and inspiring references but also encourage the non-architect citizens to demand better quality for the built environment. And it is this battleground for quality and it’s frontlines, that the whole exhibition reports from:

REPORTING FROM THE FRONT will be about listening to those that were able to gain some perspective and consequently are in the position to share some knowledge and experiences with those of us standing on the ground.

…we would like to widen the range of issues to which architecture is expected to respond, adding explicitly to the cultural and artistic dimensions that already belong to our scope, those that are on the social, political, economical and environmental end of the spectrum.

Such expansion and synthesis are not easy to achieve; they are battles that need to be fought. The always menacing scarcity of means, the ruthless constraints, the lack of time and urgencies of all kinds are a constant threat that explain why we so often fall short in delivering quality. The forces that shape the built environment are not necessarily amicable either: the greed and impatience of capital or the single mindedness and conservatism of the bureaucracy tend to produce banal, mediocre and dull built environments. These are the frontlines from which we would like different practitioners to report from, sharing success stories and exemplary cases where architecture did, is and will make a difference.

The Biennale Architettura 2016 is open to the public from Saturday, May 28th to Sunday November 27th, 2016, at the Giardini and Arsenale. Official website of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: www.labiennale.org

P1200603

P1200618

About Inari Virkkala