Faced with uncertainty, architecture joins forces with other disciplines in putting itself at the service of social projects. A team of 4 young curators has through an open call selected 34 schemes for display in the Spanish Pavilion at Biennale 2021.
In the light of the challenges we are currently facing, both the question—formulated before the pandemic—and the response of the Spanish curatorial team can be said to have been premonitory.
For the first time ever, Spain called a public competition for the curatorship of its pavilion at Biennale Architettura, and from the pool of proposals submitted, the jury of experts chose Uncertainty, by the Canary Islands-based architects Sofía Piñero, Domingo J. González, Andrzej Gwizdala, and Fernando Herrera.
Uncertainty showcases in cahoots with other disciplines to make an impact on society, offering new reflections and suggesting new ways of practicing a profession that has evolved to adapt to all the dimensions and needs of a society in constant change.
The common denominator aside, the 34 selected proposals are very heterogeneous. The Spanish Pavilion presents projects that prioritize the creative process over any iconic finished piece; a process executed in a multidisciplinary manner, and with a positive social impact clearly in sight.
Many of the projects are not at first glance recognizable as architecture per se, emphasizing the fact that our profession has broken the bounds of its traditional function—construction in the strict sense—to adapt to and mix with other fields, such as music, poetry, education, agriculture, cinema, dance, video games, or tourism, in the process using new forms of communication, including the meme.
As the curating team explains, the exhibition does not admit any concrete answer to the question formulated by Hashim Sarkis -Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning- How will we live together? but rather seeks to generate an infinite chain of further questions; questions of the kind, to be sure, that bear one certainty: our future is together, or nothing.
The young age of the 4 architects -close to 30- is also a cue for taking a generational picture of the profession. The path each one has followed, with their respective expectations and demands, conveys a message about adapting to uncertain contexts, as well as to the transversal role that architecture is to play in the collective quest for social wellbeing.
May 22 to November 21, 2021
Spanish Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venice