venice architecture biennale: italian pavilion decodes urban fragility with nine interventions

venice architecture biennale: italian pavilion decodes urban fragility with nine interventions

fosbury architecture’s rebellious mark takes center stage at the 2023 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, curated by Fosbury Architecture and supported by Bottega Veneta. For the first time, in 2023, a curatorial group brings with them to Venice the demands of a new generation of Italian 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 have, therefore, made collaboration, sharing, and dialogue the basis of all their activities. Fosbury Architecture is a voice for those ‘sustainable natives’ who have already accepted all these challenges. 

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Post Disaster Rooftops EP04’ | designer: Post Disaster, advisor: Silvia Calderonia + Ilenia Caleo | Taranto, Puglia (April 21-23,2023) | image © Sara Scanderebech

 

 

‘spaziale. everyone belongs to everyone else’ 

 

Indeed, ‘[this is] 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,’ writes the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of culture, promoter of the 2023 Italian Pavilion project. 

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Uccellaccio’ | designer: HPO, advisor: Claudia Durastanti | Ripa Teatina, Abruzzo (April 14-15, 2023)

image © Barbara Rossi

 

 

”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.’

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Concrete Jungle’ | designer: Parasite 2.0, advisor: Elia Fornari | Venice mainland (April 24-26, 2023)

image © Giacomo Bianco

 

 

The exhibition at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale brings to the heart of the Italian Pavilion a wide-ranging collaborative process involving highly esteemed figures and local communities, showcasing the best research carried out by Italian architects under 40 for specific territorial needs. For the first time, the curators construed the Italian Pavilion 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 2023 Italian Pavilion were used to initiate new processes or to bolster existing projects by adding a new chapter.

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘The Soft Palace’ | designer: Studio Ossidiana, advisor: Adelita Husni Bey | Librino, Sicily (April 2-4, 2023)

image © Alessandro Iovino

 

 

activating nine site-specific interventions across italy 

 

The team at Fosbury Architecture identified and invited nine architectural practices to collaborate and develop nine pioneering projects for the Italian Pavilion’s 2023 edition. To create a genuinely transdisciplinary result, the curators paired each designer with an advisor drawn from other fields of creativity: visual artists and performers, food systems and artificial intelligence experts, writers, and filmmakers. Nine stations were then pinpointed, sites representative of situations of fragility or transformation in Italy, 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—to root each project in its territory of reference. In this way, the nine projects linked to the Italian Pavilion will shape the stages of new geography, becoming symbolic destinations of a renewed Italian Journey.

 

Each group’s work 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, can produce immediate and tangible responses. In Taranto, ‘Post Disaster Rooftops EP04‘ will chronicle the cohabitation with disaster on the city’s rooftops by the collective Post Disaster in dialogue with Silvia Calderoni and Ilenia Caleo. In the Bay of Ieranto, FAI’s natural oasis near Naples, architects BB – Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio – and Terraforma Festival will enact a reconciliation with the environment through ‘Siren Land’. In Trieste, Giuditta Vendrame, with Ana Shametaj, will present ‘Sot Glas’ as an analysis of multicultural coexistence along the Italian-Slovenian border. In Ripa Teatina, in the Chieti province, the collective HPO and Claudia Durastanti will involve the community in reclaiming unfinished heritage through ‘Uccellaccio’

 

spaziale-italian-pavilion-venice-biennale-designboom-full

‘Uccellaccio’ | designer: HPO, advisor: Claudia Durastanti | Ripa Teatina, Abruzzo (April 14-15, 2023)
image © Barbara Rossi

 

On the Venice mainland, between Mestre and Marghera, ‘Concrete Jungle’ by Parasite 2.0 and Elia Fornari will address social inclusion by democratizing recreational activities. In Cabras, in the Montiferru area of Sardinia, design group Lemonot will work with Roberto Flore on ‘Sea Changes‘ to address the sustainable transition of food systems. In Librino, Catania, Studio Ossidiana will collaborate with Adelita Husni Bey on ‘Soft Palace‘, a regeneration project of the peripheries. In Belmonte Calabro, representing Italy’s inland areas, the collective Orizzontale and Bruno Zamborlin will raise the question of bridging the digital divide with ‘BelMondo Tracks’. Lastly, in the plain between Prato and Pistoia, the designers (ab) Normal and CAPTCHA in collaboration with Emilio Vavarella, will investigate the limits of landscape protection and its reproducibility through ‘BELVEDERE RN-M-G-N/G-Clt UNI EN 12163:2013‘.

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Sot Glas’ | designer: Guiditta Vendrame, advisor: Ana Shametaj | Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Guilia (April 6-7,2023)

image © Eleonora Agostini

 

 

a process that goes beyond the venice architecture biennale 

 

Therefore, it is not a finished project that will be presented within the Italian Pavilion, but the launch of a series of initiatives that will have a long-term impact. From an exhibition point of view, the program unfolds in two moments. The first of which is preparatory to the second one, ‘Spaziale presenta’ took place from January to May, in the period leading up to the opening of the Architecture Biennale 2023, and saw the activation of those nine site-specific interventions. The second phase, ‘Spaziale – Ognuno appartiene a tutti gli altri’ (‘Everyone belongs to everyone else’), from May 20 to November 26 2023, will be the formal and theoretical synthesis of the processes triggered in the nine territories in the previous months, restoring a different and original image of Italian architecture in the international context.

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Sea Changes’ | designer: Lemonot, advisor: Roberto Flora | Montiferru-Sinis, Sardinia (April 12-14, 2023)

image © Giovanni Emilio Galanello

 

 

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,’ reflects the Ministry of Culture. 

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘BELVEDERE’ | designers: (ab) Normal and Captcha Architecture, advisor: Emilio Vavarella | Prato-Pistoia, Tuscany (May 1-3, 2023) | image © Mattia Balsamini

 

 

The exhibition will also be conveyed in its breadth by a catalogue edited by Fosbury Architecture, published by Humboldt Books, which will bring together dialogues between the designers and the advisors: Post Disaster (Peppe Frisino, Gabriele Leo, Grazia Mappa, Gabriella Mastrangelo) with Silvia Calderoni, Ilenia Caleo; BB (Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava) with Terraforma (Ruggero Pietromarchi); Giuditta Vendrame with Ana Shametaj; HPO (Alessandro Argentesi, Luca Cei, Mara Femia, Filippo Ferraro, Gregorio Giannini, Gabriele Giau, Giulio Marchetti, Oreste Montinaro, Dario Rizzi, Giorgio Scanelli, Riccardo Simioni) with Claudia Durastanti; Parasite 2.0 (Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino, Luca Marullo) with Elia Fornari – Brain Dead; Lemonot (Sabrina Morreale, Lorenzo Perri) with Roberto Flore; Studio Ossidiana (Giovanni Belotti, Alessandra Covini) with Adelita Husni Bey; Orizzontale (Jacopo Ammendola, Juan López Cano, Giuseppe Grant, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Roberto Pantaleoni, Stefano Ragazzo) with Bruno Zamborlin; (ab)Normal (Marcello Carpino, Mattia Inselvini, Davide Masserini, Luigi Savio), Captcha Architecture (Margherita Marri, Jacopo Rosa) with Emilio Vavarella. 

 

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‘Sot Glas’ | designer: Guiditta Vendrame, advisor: Ana Shametaj | Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Guilia (April 6-7,2023) image © Eleonora Agostini

 

The catalogue will also include in-depth studies edited by Mirko Zardini, dpr-barcelona (Ethel Baraona Pohl, César Reyes Nájera) with Anna Puigjaner Barbera and Markus Miessen, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and Nina Bassoli; infographics by Fosbury Architecture; and finally, a selection of photographic essays by Sara Scanderebech, Luca Campri, Eleonora Agostini, Barbara Rossi, Giacomo Bianco, Giovanni Galanello, Alessandro Iovino, Adrianna Glaviano, and Mattia Balsamini.

 

Last but not least, for the 2023 exhibition’s duration, the Italian Pavilion will be accompanied by a Public Program entitled ‘Mondo Novo,’ which will be articulated through several events – seminars, lectures, laboratories, and workshops – at different venues. Within this program, a series of five meetings will be held at the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi in Venice, thanks to the support of Bottega Veneta.

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘Siren Land’ | designer: BB, advisor: Terraforma | Bay of Ieranto, Naples (April 16-18, 2023)

image © Luca Campri

italian pavilion 2023 designboom
‘BelMondo Tracks’ | designer: Orrizontale, advisor: Bruno Zamborlin | Belmonte Calabro, Calabria (March 31 – April 1, 2023) | image © Adrianna Glaviano

 

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Fosbury Architecture team | image © Giacomo Bianco

 

1/13
'Uccellaccio' | image © Barbara Rossi
'Uccellaccio' | image © Barbara Rossi
'Post Disaster Rooftops EP04' | image © Sara Scanderebech
'Post Disaster Rooftops EP04' | image © Sara Scanderebech
'BelMondo Tracks' | image © Adrianna Glaviano
'BelMondo Tracks' | image © Adrianna Glaviano
'BelMondo Tracks' | image © Adrianna Glaviano
'BelMondo Tracks' | image © Adrianna Glaviano
'Concrete Jungle' | image © Giacomo Bianco
'Concrete Jungle' | image © Giacomo Bianco
'Concrete Jungle' | image © Giacomo Bianco
'Concrete Jungle' | image © Giacomo Bianco
'BELVEDERE' | image © Mattia Balsamini
'BELVEDERE' | image © Mattia Balsamini
'Sea Changes' | image © Giovanni Emilio Galanello
'Sea Changes' | image © Giovanni Emilio Galanello
'Siren Land' | image © Luca Campri
'Siren Land' | image © Luca Campri
'Sot Glas' | image © Eleonora Agostini
'Sot Glas' | image © Eleonora Agostini
'The Soft Palace' | image © Alessandro Iovino
'The Soft Palace' | image © Alessandro Iovino
'BELVEDERE' | image © Mattia Balsamini
'BELVEDERE' | image © Mattia Balsamini
'Siren Land' | image © Luca Campri
'Siren Land' | image © Luca Campri

project info:

 

name: Spaziale. Everyone belongs to everyone else 
program: Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 | @labiennale
location: Italian Pavilion, Arsenale, Tese delle Vergini

curated by: Fosbury Architecture | @fosburyarchitecture
commissioned by: Onofrio Cutaia

supported by: Bottega Veneta 

designers: (ab)Normal, BB (Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio), Captcha Architecture, HPO, Lemonot, Orizzontale, Parasite 2.0, Post Disaster, Studio Ossidiana, and Giuditta Vendrame

advisors: Silvia Calderoni and Ilenia Caleo, Claudia Durastanti, Roberto Flore, Elia Fornari (Brain Dead), Adelita Husni Bey, Ana Shametaj, Terraforma, Emilio Vavarella, and Bruno Zamborlin
stations: Bay of Ieranto (Massa Lubrense, Naples), Campania; Belmonte Calabro (Cosenza), Calabria; Librino (Catania), Sicilia; Montiferru-Sinis(Oristano), Sardinia; Prato-Pistoia, Toscana; Ripa Teatina (Chieti), Abruzzo;Taranto, Puglia; Venice mainland, Veneto; Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia

dates: May 20 – September 26, 2023

 

 

Explore designboom’s ongoing coverage of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale: The Laboratory of the Future here, and follow our dedicated channel on Instagram here.

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