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Biennale Architettura 2021

Padiglione Venezia

To know how to use what we know


In this troublesome time for the entire human community, our struggle for the present needs to go together with our vision of the future. Indeed, the sudden trauma that has swept our daily lives has also stamped out a lot of certainties and habits. Our lives have come apart from their ordinary frameworks and social relations have been suspended.

As a result, never before has it become important to ask ourselves how to rebuild what we have lost, how to turn tragedy into opportunity, how to remodel the space where we live. Never before has it been crucial to ask ourselves:

How will we live together? How will we live well together? Creating harmony between men and their environment. An imminent future made of light, culture, beauty, harmony and space contract.

These are, in summary, the concepts that the Padiglione Venezia at the Giardini is going to highlight at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. The project, curated by Giovanna Zabotti in coordination with commissioner Maurizio Carlin, will lead through an experimental continuum of places and spaces, visionary places and everyday reality all together. The Biennale, a free space for experimentation, provocation, thought, becomes a breeding ground for questions: What is the city? Why do we live together? New stations, different places in the broadest sense of the word.

The protagonist of this edition is architect Michele De Lucchi, and his Earth Stations, seen as non-places, stations from which to depart, with destination Earth, visionary images intended to nourish the static fantasy of architecture. Re-designing space is bound to changing needs, we need to create places where living is learning itself, because knowledge alone is no longer enough today, but it is key to know how to use what we know… and where to search for it.

That goes through the rethinking of society, as we follow the suggestions of journalist Emilio Casalini, because the foundations of good coexistence rest on making better conditions for well-being, autonomy and fairness. The 1st space is that of co-habitation: social and spatial contract. The 2nd is the complexity of the change under way. The 3rd is architecture as a mean to create order, harmony, beauty that overcomes friction and therefore accelerates glocal economy. The 4th space is the vision of possible suggestions. Space and territory become a unified ground for reinvention: inside cities, outside cities, between cities, an unbroken place. External beauty generates inner beauty. And vice versa.

Alongside the main exhibition, the Padiglione Venezia will also host an initiative backed by Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and fostered by the City of Venice: “Artefici del nostro tempo” (Creators of our time). This is a competition where young artists are invited to answer the question: How will we live together?, the main theme of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition.



Giovanna Zabotti
Giovanna Zabotti (born in Venice, 1971) is Art Director and Vice President at Fondaco Italia, which she co-founded in 2004. Fondaco Italia is a Venice-based consulting firm, specializing in communication projects centered on historical and artistic heritage, as well as cultural events. She conceived, curated and coordinated a number of projects such as: 1. Prague Art Biennale (2003), "Mari Verticali" (Vertical Seas) by Fabrizio Plessi at the entrance of the Biennale Gardens (2005), in the same year she was event co-curator for "L'Isola della poesia" (The island of poetry) and "La Notte dei poeti" (The night of poets). After fostering the restoration of the Venice Pavilion, she coordinated the "Mariverticali" show by Fabrizio Plessi at the 54th La Biennale International Art Exhibition (2011) and the "Silk Map" project at the following edition (2013). In the same year, she co-directed the exhibition "Gero qua - Canaletto" at the church of San Gregorio in Venice. Last year she was appointed curator of the Padiglione Venezia at Biennale Arte 2019.

Michele De Lucchi
Born in Ferrara, in 1951. Michele De Lucchi was a prominent figure in movements like Alchymia and Memphis. He has designed furniture for the most known Italian and European companies. For Olivetti he has been Director of Design from 1988 to 2002. He realized architectural projects in Italy and abroad, including cultural, corporate, industrial and residential buildings. For Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bundesbahn, Poste Italiane, Enel, Hera, Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit and at other Italian and foreign banks he has designed working environments and corporate image. He developed important hospitality projects in Tbilisi (Georgia), Beijing (China), Rokko-san (Japan) and various part of Italy. He has planned buildings for museums as the Triennale di Milano, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the Neues Museum in Berlin and the Gallerie d'Italia in Milan. His professional work has always gone side-by-side with a personal exploration of architecture, design, technology and crafts. From 2004 he has been using a chain saw to sculpt small wooden houses which create the essentiality of his architectural style. In 2003 the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris has acquired a considerable number of his works. Selections of his products are exhibited in the most important design Museums in Europe, United States and Japan. In 2000 he was appointed Officer of Italian Republic by President Ciampi. In 2001 he has been nominated Professor at the IUAV in Venice. In 2006 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University. In 2008 he has been nominated Professor at the Design Faculty of the Politecnico of Milan and Member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome. During 2018 Michele De Lucchi was editor in chief of the new “Domus” magazine. Michele De Lucchi is founder and member of AMDL CIRCLE, a multidisciplinary group of thinkers and innovators. Since 2018, AMDL CIRCLE focuses on Earth Stations, future sharing architectures that combine technological development with humanist principles.

Emilio Casalini
Emilio Casalini (born in Padua, 1969) is an Italian journalist, TV showman and writer. He got a degree in Political Science. He reported from Sarajevo for 6 months during the 1993 siege as a correspondent of Padua TV station Telechiara. He began his photojournalist career in 1997, joined RAI Television in 2001 where he run investigations and reports for a few programs such as Report on RAI3. His documentary on Iran rebellions won him the “Enzo Baldoni” journalism Prize in 2010; he later gained the “Ilaria Alpi” television journalism award in 2012 with an enquiry on international waste traffic. In 2016, he published the essay "Rifondata sulla Bellezza” (Re-founded on beauty), a reflection on how to renovate Italy using the country’s heritage and generate sustainable wealth thanks to the “beauty economy”. He conceived, wrote and conducted the radio show "Bella Davvero" for RAI RADIO2 and the television program "GenerAzione Bellezza" for RAI3, which aired in prime time in January 2020. Emilio Casalini also deals with narration of territorial identity, both as a consultant for public bodies and as a speaker at conferences and lectures in college and training courses. He has founded the project "Cantieri di Narrazione identitaria" (Identity Narration Workshops) to give high school students insights and skills into storytelling and enhancing their own land.

Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura