Architecture | June 24, 2023 |

canada pavilion 001
Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts

Not for Sale! in the Canada Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Venice, Italy
May 20 – November 26, 2023

The exhibition, curated by the collective Architects Against Housing Alienation (AAHA), constitutes the official participation from Canada that is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Commissioner. The AAHA Not for Sale! exhibition draws attention to the housing crisis being experienced by many communities across Canada. Not for Sale! describes and denounces the impact of real estate speculation that converts homes into financial assets, aggravating a range of issues including a general lack of affordability, precarious housing, and homelessness. The AAHA collective contends that in an economy dominated by real estate, urban environments suffer from the effects of systemic racism, sexism, and classism.

canada pavilion 003
Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts

The Not for Sale! exhibition is a rallying call for the architectural community. It is also an invitation to work collaboratively within community environments to find creative, viable, ecological, and sustainable solutions. The exhibition Not for Sale! proposes that the housing crisis is a severing of three forms of essential connection: to the land, to social ties, and to the ability to creatively shape our environment. By moving their campaign headquarters to the Canada Pavilion in Venice, the AAHA collective composed of Adrian Blackwell, David Fortin, Matthew Soules, Sara Stevens, Patrick Stewart, Tijana Vujosevic, and 10 teams, are showcasing, and expanding the potential of their architectural movement on the international stage.

canada pavilion 006
Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts

Throughout the Biennale Architettura 2023, the AAHA collective will work with 10 interdisciplinary and geographically dispersed teams. These teams are comprised of community organizations, supporters of non-alienated housing, and architects. As part of the Not for Sale! exhibition, architectural design studios, will be held onsite in Venice, for students from the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Through ongoing research, writing, events, and visualizations, the university students will further develop the demands to address housing alienation, and present bold visions for equitable and truly affordable housing in Canada. Visitors to the Pavilion will be able to engage with those working on the ground to learn how to contribute to the development of sustainable solutions to housing affordability.

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Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts

The AAHA Not for Sale! campaign is using social media and online resources to mobilize Canadians to join in the call for safer, healthier, and more equitable housing. The online programming includes the Not for Sale! campaign manifesto, as well as the set of demands made by the collaborators to end housing alienation and foster the rebuilding of fundamental connections. Through the Not for Sale! exhibition and campaign, the collective aspires to inspire architects, activists, and advocates to join a growing movement that will make housing more equitable and accessible for everyone.


canada pavilion 004
Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts
canada pavilion 002
Image courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts

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