An eye to the future
In recent years, architecture has become established as the discipline that more than any other can and must provide answers to the needs of humanity. Almost on a par with scientific research in the field of medicine, architecture is asked to provide immediate answers to urgent imperatives for the survival of the earth and the genera that inhabit it. This was unequivocally confirmed by the years of Covid.
La Biennale di Venezia, dedicating over six months to the greatest International Architecture Exhibition in the world (the 18th this year), becomes a centre for global observation dealing with the problems of the present with an eye to the future. Not coincidentally, the curator Lesley Lokko has titled her edition The Laboratory of the Future.
Until recently the Exhibition was experienced as a representation of the new, of beauty and of technological development in the science of construction. Today the expectations and responsibilities attributed to those who work in the field of architecture are extremely high, making the architectural profession increasingly complex and concentrated on distinctly concrete themes that concern the reality around us, even if that doesn’t mean forswearing aesthetic research.
This may well be why the curator likes to define the participants as practitioners, because she finds the term ‘architect’ to be reductive. And the word practitioners immediately suggests the idea of a necessary and tangible action, without preferring tried-and-true or aesthetic canons.
The most recent Architecture Biennales have made awareness of the world’s most urgent themes their centre of gravity: and so Lesley Lokko’s edition comes enriched with a new and original College programme (as all the other arts of La Biennale have done before). This is an important step: the Architecture College will not be a training ground in which young women and men, future graduates or professionals at the onset of their career exhibit projects or architectural works, it will be a veritable campus, which under the responsibility of the curator and the tutors she has chosen will help the participants and all of us to understand the duties of contemporary architecture and especially how to transmit them.