Architecture | May 15, 2023 |

italian pavilion 003
Image courtesy of Italian Pavilion

“Spaziale. Everyone belongs to everyone else” is the title of the Italian Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of culture and curated by Fosbury Architecture.
Venice, Italy
May 20 – November 26, 2023

For the first time, a curatorial group made up of architects born between 1987 and 1989 brings with them to Venice the demands of a new generation of designers under 40 (nine groups of designers and as many advisors, professionals from different fields in the creative industries, for a total of about 50 people with an average age of 33) who grew up and were trained against a backdrop of permanent crisis and who have therefore made collaboration, sharing, and dialogue the basis of all their activities.

italian pavilion 001
Image courtesy of Giacomo Bianco

A generation that is aware, on the one hand, of the impact and responsibility of the construction sector in the face of the environmental crisis and, on the other, of the crisis of significance of architecture and design in the transformation of cities and territories. A generation of designers who, compared to their predecessors, have grown up in a regime of scarcity in terms of resources and opportunities, who sense as crucial the issue of sustainability, and who know that this is the only context in which they will be able to operate now and in the future. Fosbury Architecture is a voice for those Italian designers who are “sustainable natives” and have already accepted all these challenges, for whom transdisciplinarity is a tool for expanding the boundaries of architecture, and for whom the built artifact is a means and not an end in itself.

italian pavilion 002
Image courtesy of Sara Scanderebech

“Spaziale. Everyone belongs to everyone else” originated from these assumptions and is based on the vision that architecture is a research practice beyond the construction of buildings and that design is always the result of collective and collaborative work that goes beyond the idea of the architect-author. According to this vision, space is understood as a physical and symbolic place, a geographical area and abstract dimension, a system of known references and a territory of possibilities. Spaziale thus refers to an expanded notion of the field of architecture: to intervene in space is to operate on the fabric of relationships between people and places that forms the basis of every project. “Spaziale. Everyone belongs to everyone else” brings to the heart of the Italian Pavilion a wide-ranging collaborative process, an inclusive project involving highly esteemed figures and local communities, showcasing the best research carried out by Italian architects under 40 in relation to specific territorial needs. For the first time, in fact, the Italian Pavilion has been construed by the curators as an opportunity to implement new projects: an activator of concrete actions for the benefit of local territories and communities, beyond the idea that an exhibition should only be an “exhibition.” For this reason, a substantial portion of the public funds allocated to the Pavilion were used to initiate new processes or to bolster existing projects by adding a new chapter.

italian pavilion 005
Image courtesy of Eleonora Agostini

Fosbury Architecture identified and invited nine spatial practices to collaborate, designers called upon to develop nine pioneering projects for the Italian Pavilion: nine architectural practices – Italian architects or groups, aged under 40, representative of original research, active in Italy and abroad -selected on the basis of the approach with which they operate, the territories in which they intervene, the means they use, the questions they raise, and the answers they suggest, and representing a roster, albeit an incomplete one, of Italian professionals working along the perimeter of what is considered architecture today. To make the nine projects genuinely transdisciplinary, the curators paired each designer with an advisor, drawn from other fields of creativity: visual artists and performers, experts in food systems and artificial intelligence, writers and filmmakers. Nine stations were then pinpointed, sites that are representative of situations of fragility or in transformation in our country, where each transdisciplinary group was called upon to intervene. Lastly, each design group collaborated and will collaborate with a series of incubators local actors such as museums, associations, and cultural festivals with the aim of rooting each project in its territory of reference.

italian pavilion 004 1
Image courtesy of Luca Campri

In this way, the nine projects linked to the Italian Pavilion will shape the stages of a new geography, becoming symbolic destinations of a renewed Italian Journey. The work of each group responds to a series of pressing issues in the Italian context and for the discipline in general: challenges that are “impossible” if addressed globally but when addressed in local contexts are able to produce immediate and tangible responses. Within the Italian Pavilion, therefore, it is not a finished project that will be presented, but the launch of a series of initiatives that will have a long-term impact. From an exhibitionary point of view, the Pavilion will present the formal and theoretical synthesis of the processes initiated in the nine regions in the months preceding the opening, from January to May, providing a diverse and original portrait of Italian architecture in the international context. The extension of the Pavilion outside the Arsenale will correspond to a reduction in the exhibition installation to make room for the representation of the activated processes throughout the Italian peninsula. Local projects will not stop with the opening of the Italian Pavilion but will continue with a dense series of activities in the different regions throughout the duration of the exhibition and beyond.

italian pavilion 006
Image courtesy of Barbara Rossi

Instead of remaining anchored to a self-referential exhibition dynamic, the curators have preferred to seize the opportunity of the Italian Pavilion to put into practice an academy that extends throughout the country and to finance – through the funds allocated and raised useful projects for communities that have participated in the entire process: first, Fosbury Architecture have not acted as curators-authors but as mediators between different constellations of agents, local and beyond, actors in a collective project that has already brought to life a true Laboratory of the Future. “Spaziale. Everyone belongs to everyone else” becomes, in a concrete way, the instigator of processes that will go beyond the six-month duration of the Biennale Architettura 2023, making the legacy of the exhibition and the Italian Pavilion tangible, and making the consumption of resources used to produce them meaningful.

more. www.spaziale2023.it

italian pavilion 008
Image courtesy of Adriana Glaviano
italian pavilion 007
Image courtesy of Emilio Galanello

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