latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale

welcome to tc/latvija at venice architecture biennale 

 

For the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, themed under ‘The Laboratory of the Future’, the Latvian Pavilion transformed its space into a vibrant supermarket experience. Named T/C Latvija, the project celebrates 20 years since Latvia’s participation in Venice by exploring the connection between La Biennale as a supermarket and the national pavilions as products on display for visitors to choose from. This approach is a nod to the days of the pandemic, when grocery stores became safe spaces for anxious crowds, ‘offering a sense of normalcy and connection to the world. Equipped with ventilation and safety measures, they provide a haven for in-person experiences. But they are more than that. Supermarkets are data systems, collecting and interpreting information to better serve their customers. They are the future laboratories of our everyday lives,’ writes the curatorial team. 

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Toms Kampars | all courtesy Latvian Pavilion

 

 

turning past national pavilion themes into 506 products

 

To bring TC Latvija (see more here) to life, Ints Meņģelis, Toms Kampars, Karola Rubene, and Ernests Cerbulis teamed up with curators Uldis Jaunzems-Pētersons, creating a multicolored and democratic shopping experience where products of different origins unite on the same shelves. While not edible, these packaged goods represent the 506 ideas brought forth by national pavilions in the last ten exhibitions of the Venice Architecture Biennale.

 

‘The 506 choices are based on individual convictions and a sense of belonging, in other cases on the perceived characteristics and history of the product, or, again, on adherence to the product category or the desire to stand out from the category in which the product is placed. It’s not the products that are important, but your decisions. The 506 choices are based on individual convictions and a sense of belonging. Confronting large number of ideas can be tiring, but what if making decisions could be fun?‘ continues the team. 

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Toms Kampars

 

 

creating realistic packaging designs 

 

From Singapore to France, Iraq, and USA — and from champagne bottles to bags of chips, snack bars, and soda cans — the displayed items at the ‘supermarket’ come in all shapes, types, and sizes, inscribed with the Biennale’s past pavilion themes. Karola Rubene crafted the vibrant packaging design of these 506 samples, resulting in realistic and 3D-like visuals printed lining the seemingly endless rows of shelves. The design team was also assisted by artificial intelligence to materialize their colorful campaign and visual concept. You can check out the entire product range on the T/C Latvija website

 

Beyond inviting them to browse the aisles and packaged goods, the pavilion also encourages ‘shoppers’ to partake in a voting system, sharing their thoughts on how past editions impacted the Venice Architecture Biennale’s narrative over the past ten years. The exhibition will be open to the public until November 26, 2023. The Lativan Pavilion’s first participation took place in 2002 (under the theme NEXT ), leading up to the 2021 edition, ‘How will we live together?’, curated by Hashim Sarkis

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Toms Kampars

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Kristaps Deičs

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Kristaps Deičs

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
image © Kristaps Deičs

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
No Man’s Land, Macedonia Pavilion (2016)

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
Coethos, Grenada Pavilion (2021)

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
Unknown Japanese Architecture and Cities, Japan (2006)

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
Friday Sermon, Bahrain Pavilion (2018)

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
No More Free Space?, Singapore Pavilion (2018)

latvian pavilion transforms into a supermarket experience at venice architecture biennale
Ark Reimagined – The Expeditionary Pavillion, Iraq (2021)

tc-latvija-venice-biennale-designboom-full-1

image © Toms Kampars

 

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image © Toms Kampars
image © Toms Kampars
image © Toms Kampars
image © Toms Kampars

project info:

 

name: T/C Latvija 

location: Latvia Pavilion, Arsenale, Venice 

design team: Ernests Cerbulis, Ints Meņģelis, Toms Kampars | @tomskampars, Karola Rubene | @irkarola 

curator: Uldis Jaunzems-Pētersons

project manager: Austra Bērziņa

communications: Kalvis Kidals

sound: Andris Strazds

commissioner: Jānis Dripe (Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia)
program: Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 | @labiennale 

opening dates: May 20, 2023 – November 26, 2023 

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