Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition 2016
Architecture is about giving form to the places where we live. It is not more complicated than that, but also not easier than that.
Alejandro Aravena, who is a Chilean architect and won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2016, is the Curator of the Biennale Architecture Exhibition 2016 and sets the theme “Reporting from the Front”. Aravena has invited 88 architects around the world to report from their front on how they have risked themselves going into complex fields of inequalities, sustainability, insecurity, segregation, traffic, pollution, waste, migration, natural disasters, informality, peripheries, housing shortage and human rights at stake. These are the upfront issues and threats that need to be addressed. The Exhibition is also accompanied by 64 participating countries as well as 19 collateral events.
“Reporting from the Front” is about sharing with a broader audience the work of people who are scrutinizing the horizon looking for new fields of action presenting examples where different dimensions are synthesized, integrating the pragmatic with the existential, pertinence and boldness, creativity and common senses.
The difficulty of the circumstances (scarcity of means, ruthless constraints, and urgencies of all kinds) is a constant threat to the delivery of quality. The forces at play are not necessarily amicable either: the greed and impatience of capital or the single-mindedness and conservatism of bureaucracy tend to produce banal, mediocre, dull built environments. There are many battles that need to be won in order to improve the quality built environment and consequently people’s quality of life.
“Sustainability” is one of battlefields where we are fighting for the common good against conscious avarice and thoughtlessness. Aravena has exemplified his curatorial statement via the impressive installation at the introductory rooms of the exhibition. The introductory rooms as shown on the images below are built with the 100 tons of waste material, including 10,000m2 of plaster boards and 14km of metal studs, generated by the dismantling of the previous Biennale Art Exhibition 2015.