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Biennale Architettura 2021

Venice Pavilion

To know how to use what we know

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 Biennale Giardini is going to highlight at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. The project, strongly advocated by Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, has been 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. La 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 main protagonist of this edition will be architect Michele De Lucchi who, along with his studio AMDL CIRCLE, will present their Education Stations. As the title suggests, the theme of spaces for learning and training is approached using the design criteria of Earth Stations, visionary architectures that inspire thinking in the direction of a desirable future for our planet and future generations. Specifically, the Education Stations are five buildings for education that match with as many stages of one person’s growth, from childhood to adulthood. They result from thoughtful consideration of the educational role of built space and from the study of how the environment affects our psyche.
Architecture and context are crucial educational elements and intervene profoundly in the building of one’s personality. This is why any environment cannot be designed as a neutral box but should reflect the idea of learning we want to bring forward. Through people's interactions with spaces, objects, and atmospheres, we aim at creating a psychological and relational harmony that is both rewarding and growth-inducing to individuals and communities. After all, we may have all the wisdom in the world at our free disposal, but if we are not attracted to its use and do not learn to manage it in the best way, it is all wasted. 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.

Emilio Casalini's Economia della Bellezza (Economy of Beauty) is displayed in one of the side rooms of the Pavilion: a flow of connections between knowledge, material and immaterial resources, individual talents and personalities, attentive communities, concrete actions, post-pandemic planning and systemic change. Beauty becomes both a tool and a goal at valorizing the endless nuances of our identity. It parallels to a social architecture capable of managing the entire system and governing complexity through harmony.

The focus of this study is Venice, with its 1600 years of history: an overall scheme to foster the immense heritage of this extraordinary city and of Italy as a whole, also through a narrative process that has been yet enormously undersized.It is about managing the complexity of contemporary communities through the principles on which architecture is conceived in the true sense of the word. Interpreting this complexity is a glass work crafted by the artists Marina and Susanna Sent.

Alongside the main exhibition, the winning works from the second edition of Artefici del nostro tempo (Creators of our time) will also be on display. This initiative was backed by Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and fostered by the City of Venice. More than 800 entries were submitted in the seven disciplines in competition, through which the young artists have answered the question: How will we live together?, the main theme of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition.


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 Giardini (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 Venezia Pavilion, she coordinated inside it the Mariverticali show by Fabrizio Plessi at the 54th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2011) and the Silk Map project hosted inside the Venezia Pavilion 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 Venezia Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2019.

Michele De Lucchi (born in Ferrara, 1951) 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 is cultural designer, writer, author and television presenter, expert narrator of territories. After working 15 years as a RAI journalist for programs such as Report, since 2014 he has been busy with the narration of beauty and with promoting the identities of territories, as a way to back sustainable economic and social development. He wrote the book Rifondata sulla Bellezza (Re-founded on Beauty) which later inspired the RAI3 program #GenerAzione Bellezza. He teaches on these topics at Bicocca University in Milan and works as a consultant for local and regional public administrations. He is creative director of the project www.sciacca5sensi.it

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
“The interdependence between human beings, objects and environments will be increasingly evident. Architecture will only make sense if the creation of space designs relationships.”

Photo: Michele De Lucchi AMDL CIRCLE, Town Station, Education, 2020. © Filippo Bolognese images


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
To know how to use what we know.

Photo: Michele De Lucchi, To know how to use what we know, Venice Pavilion. Pencil on paper

Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura