Over 200 works from 52 countries delve into the key themes of life through the lens of architecture
An exhibition that is also a platform for multidisciplinary experimentation and exchange, examining the fundamental themes of time, space and existence through the multiform language of architecture. This is “Time Space Existence”, the large-scale biennial exhibition organised in Venice by the European Cultural Centre with the aim of imagining the future of human society by stimulating dialogue between architects, designers, photographers, developers and industry, with a specific focus on technological innovation.
Inaugurated on 20 May and open until 26 November, the sixth edition of “Time Space Existence” plays host to 217 projects from 52 countries in the three venues of Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and the Marinaressa Gardens.
Sustainability, climate, social justice
The main theme this year is sustainability in all its forms; from environmental, regarding emissions, pollution and consumption, to social, fostered through policies that are inclusive and participative for the community; the response to climate change, with projects examining the application of new technologies aimed at reducing energy consumption and at circular design with natural and recycled materials; then there is a focus on social justice, with proposals for living solutions created for displaced communities and minorities, and reflections on the relationship between constructed and natural environments.
Launched in 2012 as a collateral event to the Biennale Architettura in Venice, to then become an independent exhibition, each edition of “Time Space Existence” sees around 600 thousand visitors to its three exhibition sites. Three treasures of Venetian historical heritage that ECC has restored at its own expense over the years, returning them to the community and to the city’s cultural scene.
This year, the chosen works once again represent an articulated and heterogeneous picture of architectural trends through a deliberately diversified body of works in terms of language and setting that, at the same time, are bound by the aim of not so much identifying answers or providing redemption, but rather of raising public awareness of fundamental matters in contemporary architecture.
A grand tale in four chapters
There are four main themes in this year's exhibition: the encounter between cutting-edge technologies such as robotics with natural materials and ancient knowledge; the global challenge represented by the need to provide enough good-quality housing at every latitude and to every societal model, especially to the poor; mass migrations and related themes of climate change, access to water, and gentrification caused by extreme weather events; the relationship between architecture and a uniquely beautiful and fragile place like Venice.
As tradition dictates, "Time Space Existence" also hosts several artists this year who contribute with their unexpected interpretations and often utopian suggestions, expanding the investigation beyond the boundaries of architecture alone.
Opening image: at Palazzo Bembo, the exhibition curated by Gerber Architekten delves into the relationship between built and natural environments (© Fedrico Vespignani)