fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Azra Aksamija
La Biennale di Venezia

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Azra Aksamija

Silk Road Works

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Azra Akšamija (Austrian, b.1976) of MIT Future Heritage Lab (USA, est.2016) in collaboration with Lillian Kology (American, b.1985) and Kailin Jones (American/Hongkonger, b.1994) of MIT Future Heritage Lab, and Adriano Berengo (Italy, b.1947) of Berengo Studio (Italy, est.1989)



In a world traversed by zones of contact in which lifestyle choices have become targets for reactionary forms of identity paranoia, wearing a headscarf or a beard in public can be perceived as a threat. Silk Road Works engages with subject positions defined by “otherness” and marginality linked to Islamic identity, aiming to counter cultural biases and propose a vision for architecture of coexistence. Inspired by Venice’s historical role as a cultural and commercial hub of Europe’s exchange with the East, the installation takes the form of a body-scale construction site for building an inclusive, pluralist society. Informed by the social and cultural history of Venice, architecture becomes a medium to visually deconstruct an essentialist idea of a homogenous, static identity, and to embody the leitmotif of cultural mobility.


Austrian Federal Chancellery
Styrian State Government
Rubelli Venezia

Production credits

Concept, design and prototyping: Azra Akšamija
Pattern development, prototyping and fabrication of vests: Azra Akšamija, Sophia Giordano, Lillian P.H. Kology
Fabrication of glass helmets: Berengo Studio, Venice (glass mold blowing), Kailin Jones (research and laser cutting)
Prototyping and fabrication of coveralls: Azra Akšamija, Lillian P.H. Kology
Material: Rubelli Venezia

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura