Recent directors of the Venice Biennale’s Architecture Section include: Massimiliano Fuksas (2000), Deyan Sudjic(2002), Kurt W. Forster (2004), Richard Burdett (2006), and Aaron Betsky (2008). The japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima is the first woman to direct the Venice Architecture Biennale, since its inception.
‘The buildings, the atmosphere they create and the way they are designed may be a central point of departure for the next Venice Architecture Biennale.(…)
Now that we are in the twenty-first century, we can take this opportunity to step back and assess the spirit of our current times through this international exhibition of architecture,
exploring the essence of contemporary architecture and the importance of new relationships when we enter the future.
A significant point of departure could be the concept of boundaries and the adaptation of space.(…) It could be argued that contemporary architecture is an afterthought and perhaps and easing of borders themselves.’ – Kazuyo Sejima
THOUGHTS TEXT FROM SEJIMA:
The Biennale must be everything and anything, fundamentally inclusive, in dialogue with both contributors and visitors. Buildings, the atmosphere that they create and the way in which they are conceived, can be the central starting point of the coming Biennale. Very broadly, the process by which we design can be brought to bear on contemporary and future architectural discussion. I.e. we can select and arrange works such that they are understood as they are rather than as representations. This can be manifested with an architecture grounded in its use by people.
We are now well into the 21st Century. We can take this opportunity to step back and assess the zeitgeist of now through the process of the Biennale. This can clarify contemporary essentials of architecture and the importance of new relationships as we step into the future.
One potent point of departure could be the boundaries and adaptation of space. This might include the removal of boundaries, as well as their clarification. Any part of architecture’s inherent multiplicity of adjacencies can become a topic. It might be argued that contemporary architecture is a rethinking and perhaps softening of those borders.
inside and outside
individual and public
program and form (form and function)
physical and virtual
contemporary and classical
past and future
harmony and discord
art and architecture
nature and man
Perhaps the oxymoron can represent a productive new paradigm; can these binaries (intersections of public/private, global/local, artificial/natural, monumental/mundane, complex/simple, symbolic/pragmatic, fake/authentic, active/passive, thickness/thinness) lead to a duality capable of blurring these boundaries? How can the unexpected interdependency of extraordinary spaces create a communal/symbiotic dialogue between adjacencies?
Equally, there is another thread of interest; people in architecture, human encounters in both public and private scenarios, both as creators and users. This is an issue of individual life in interplay with the community. It may be as simple as ‘people meet in architecture.’
In its totality the Biennale can both a new and active forum for contemporary ideas as well as a close reading of buildings themselves.