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Architecture

Beyond Beyond Building

Architecture Saturdays
Aaron Betsky
Director of Biennale Architetcture 2008
Saturday 30 October 2010 at 2 pm
Arsenale, Teatro alle Tese
Speakers:
Winy Maas, Wolf Prix, Hani Rashid

The 11th International Architecture Venice Biennale had as its theme OUT THERE. Architecture Beyond Building, arguing with exhibits and installations that buildings have become the tombs of architecture, and that we need to find other strategies and tools for making ourselves at home in the modern world. This Biennale presented building blocks for the construction of an architecture that would reveal, appropriate, and domesticate those systems that define such a modernity, while also suggesting concrete ways in which we could use less energy, create more open structures, and make the constructed world more sensible and sensitive to human needs.
What can we make of these experiments? This panel will examine how an open and experimental architecture can - and cannot - contribute to a critical understanding and use of our environment. What strategies for an architecture beyond buildings work, and which do not? How can we use technology in a more intense manner, and how can make the most of the severe economic restraints that have bound us since the opening of the 11th Biennale?
Wolf Prix, Partner in Coop Himmelb(l)au, has been engaged in such experiments for more than four decades, while also building up a successful practice designing buildings. His forms and spaces continue to challenged closed urban structures and closed minds. Does he feel that his experimental work can be integrated into the construction of large office buildings and housing blocks?
Hani Rashid, of Studio Asymptote, has more recently made the transition from experimental architect to the co-head of a large architecture practice with building projects around the world. He has also created installations, furniture, and digital projects. As a proponent of the use of computer-based investigations of form, does he believe that we are moving towards an age of hybrids between buildings, implements, and organic structures?
Winy Maas, partner in MVRDV, has opened the design of buildings up to radical cross-programming, reducing formal language while making good use of a combination of collage and iconic image-making to create alternatives to the closed structures of traditional building. His work has extended to data-based scenario-planning for whole countries and the globe. Does he believe that data and relational planning are the building blocks for an architecture beyond building?
Each of these architects will present their thoughts on an architecture beyond building through their own work and experience, after which moderator Aaron Betsky, director of the 11th Biennale, will lead them in discussion.
 
Aaron Betsky
 
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