fbpx Biennale Architettura 2023 | Introduction by Roberto Cicutto
La Biennale di Venezia

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Introduction by

Roberto Cicutto

President of La Biennale di Venezia

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.

A multiplicity of voices

A laboratory of the future must necessarily begin from a specific starting point, from one or more hypotheses seeking confirmation. Lokko starts with her continent of origin, Africa, to talk about its historical, economic, climate and political criticalities and to let us all know “that much of what is happening to the rest of the world has already happened to us. Let’s work together to understand where we have gone wrong so far and how we must face the future”. This is a starting point that seeks to heed those segments of humanity that have been left out of the debate, and opens to a multiplicity of voices that have been silenced for so long by the one that considered itself to be rightfully dominant in a vital and unavoidable contest.

I believe that this is La Biennale di Venezia’s true task as an institution, and not only for Architecture. We must start here to seize the opportunity that will allow us to raise the bar in the way we approach all the other disciplines as well.

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition curated by Lesley Lokko will be the first to experiment in the field a path towards achieving carbon neutrality, to the point that the Exhibition itself is structured along the themes of decolonisation and decarbonisation.

Since the International Film Festival in 2021, La Biennale di Venezia has been committed to this crucial objective, and last year already obtained the certification of carbon neutrality. We are perhaps the first major international Cultural Institution to achieve this result, thanks to a meticulous collection of data on the cause of the CO2 emissions generated by all our events and our adoption of subsequent measures.

We are proud of this primacy and hope that it will be disputed by as many institutions as possible, in the name of fighting climate change.

Thanks to

We would like to thank all Participating Countries and new National Participations.

We thank Ministry of Culture, the local institutions that support La Biennale in various ways, the City of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Soprintendenza Archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per il Comune di Venezia e Laguna, and the Italian Navy.

Our thanks also go to Rolex, Partner and Official Timepiece of the event.

For more than a half a centurys partner of some of the world’s most talented artists and leading cultural institutions through its Perpetual Arts Initiative, Rolex supports Lesley Lokko’s Carnival series of events. The Rolex Pavilion at the Giardini will again this year feature various exhibitions linked to Rolex’s dedication to architecture, as well as to the transmission of knowledge to the architects of tomorrow.

Our thanks to the Sponsors Bloomberg Philanthropies with Bloomberg Connects and Vela-Venezia Unica.

We thank the important international Donors, organisations and institutions who have contributed to the success of the Biennale Architettura 2023.

Our warmest thanks go to Lesley Lokko and her entire team.

Finally, we would also like thank everyone at La Biennale for the great professionalism and dedication they have demonstrated in the realisation and administration of the Exhibition.

Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura