Conran Columns: Azhar on Architecture: At the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

“We must look to the future”

The Venice Biennale of Architecture: The most interesting (and the most original) architecture forum in the world.

This year’s theme: “People Meet in Architecture”.

It’s very apt for this event to be held in the great city of Venice, an ancient mysterious labyrinth which allows ‘incidental encounters’ more than any other city that I know.

Although there are events happening all over the city the Biennale is located essentially in two key locations; the enigmatic and heavily under-used Giardini, where there are pavilions of the known cultural world; and the awe-inspiring Arsenale, the ancient naval base, which includes the magical Corderia (….where they used to make ropes – which goes some way to explaining the length of this space!)

There has been a tendency in the past to enigmatically re-interpret architecture as a form of representation and for me this often comes across as frosted artistry with a very broad range of success.

Do architects really have to show how knowing and clever they are by working with art and artists?

For me the exciting elements are where one can see speculation, which raises the issues of what is being done, and what are we going to do in the future. Where we are and where we have been, is not the point of such a gathering.

For me the highlights were the pavilions by Australia, Japan, Canada and also the curating by Kazyuo Sejima of the Padiglione Italia.

In the Corderia, Wim Wenders created a 12 minute 3D film installation of SANNA’s Rolex Learning Centre which got me thinking about Architecture and Photography.

While I think that Architecture has always been very unsatisfactorily captured by photography, and most sketches and drawings are too opaque, I must admit I really enjoyed Wenders work. It was a sort of twenty first century version of “Wings of Desires”.

I would love to write more but must end on urging you to go and see it.

It runs till 21st November 2010.

Read more about it here:

http://www.labiennale.org/en/architecture/exhibition/iae/12th-iae.html

http://www.monocle.com/sections/design/Web-Articles/12th-International-Architecture-Biennale—Part-One/

Azhar is a Director at Conran & Partners.

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One response to “Conran Columns: Azhar on Architecture: At the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

  1. Pingback: Conran: Hotels of the Future / Part 1 «

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