The postponed 17th Venice Architecture Biennale asked its 112 participants to consider the question, “How will we live together?”. A question originally posed in 2019 by curator and architect, Hashim Sarkis far before our collective 2020 experience. He originally asked participants “to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together” Answers from 46 countries materialized into the exhibition of 2021. After a year spent living apart, the theme is both hauntingly fitting and reifies our disconnection.
The second installment of our special two-part Design and the City episode covers the long-awaited event. An event that signaled something, a community eager to reconnect and a deeper understanding of just how interwoven we are with our spaces spanning the full spectrum of human existence. The exhibition explores that spectrum across five scales: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and, As One Planet.
For this episode we have it broken down into three parts. The first features none other than the 17th Biennale curator himself, Hashim Sarkis. Hashim is the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founder of Hashim Sarkis Studios. Joining him in conversation is NewCities’ Director of Applied Research and reSITE’s own visiting curator, Greg Lindsay, to discuss the meaning and aims of this special Biennale.
Following Sarkis and Lindsay’s conversation, we will explore accessibility and hear from the curators of the British Pavilion entitled The Garden of Privatised Delights and wrap up with the curators of the Austrian Pavilion entitled, We Like Platform Austria. Both sets of curators tackled what can often be a rather serious topic regarding accessibility along with the binary that exists between public and private space, but with a bit of whit and a sense of playfulness, ultimately makes the message on accessibility, accessible in itself.
Design and the City, is a podcast produced by reSITE about the ways we can use design to make cities more livable and lovable. reSITE is a global non-profit and platform connecting people and ideas to improve the urban environment. We work at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, politics, culture, and economics, acting as a catalyst for social action and innovative leadership. We encourage the exchange of ideas about making cities more livable, competitive, resilient, inclusive, mobile, and designed with humans in mind to protect and public space, architecture, and sustainable development in cities.
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Design and the City is a reSITE production. reSITE is a global non-profit connecting people and ideas to improve the urban environment. This episode was directed and produced by myself, Alexandra Siebenthal with support from Martin Barry, Radka Ondrackova, Anna Stava, and Nikkolas Zellers as well as Nano Energies and the Czech Ministry of Culture. It was edited by Andel Sound Studio.