Architecture as a tool for social transformation. Lina Bo Bardi, Venice Biennale 2021

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Curator
Hashim Sarkis.
Venue / Adress
Venice (Arsenale and Giardini), Italy.
Dates
From May 22nd to November 21st, 2020.

Lina BO BARDI

Achillina Bo was born on December 5, 1914 in Rome, Italy. Lina was the oldest child of Enrico and Giovana Bo, who later had another daughter named Graziella. In 1939, she graduated from the Rome College of Architecture at the age of 25 with her final piece, "The Maternity and Infancy Care Centre". She then moved to Milan to begin working with architect Carlo Pagani in the Studio Bo e Pagani, No 12, Via Gesù. Bo Bardi collaborated (until 1943) with architect and designer Giò Ponti on the magazine Lo Stile – nella casa e nell’arredamento. In 1942, at the age of 28, she opened her own architectural studio on Via Gesù, but the lack of work during wartime soon led Bardi to take up illustration for newspapers and magazines such as Stile, Grazia, Belleza, Tempo, Vetrina and Illustrazione Italiana. Her office was destroyed by an aerial bombing in 1943. From 1944-5 Bardi was the Deputy Director of Domus magazine.

The event prompted her deeper involvement in the Italian Communist Party. In 1945, Domus commissioned Bo Bardi to travel around Italy with Carlo Pagani and photographer Federico Patellani to document and evaluate the situation of the destroyed country. Bo Bardi, Pagani and Bruno Zevi established the weekly magazine A – Attualità, Architettura, Abitazione, Arte in Milan (A Cultura della Vita).[4] She also collaborated on the daily newspaper Milano Sera, directed by Elio Vittorini. Bo Bardi took part in the First National Meeting for Reconstruction in Milan, alerting people to the indifference of public opinion on the subject, which for her covered both the physical and moral reconstruction of the country.

In 1946, Bo Bardi moved to Rome and married the art critic and journalist Pietro Maria Bardi.

In Brazil, Bo Bardi expanded his ideas influenced by a recent and overflowing culture different from the European situation. Along with her husband, they decided to live in Rio de Janeiro, delighted with the nature of the city and its modernist buildings, like the current Gustavo Capanema Palace, known as the Ministry of Education and Culture, designed by Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, Lucio Costa, Roberto Burle Marx and a group of young Brazilian architects. Pietro Bardi was commissioned by a museum from Sao Paulo city where they established their permanent residence.

There they began a collection of Brazilian popular art (its main influence) and his work took on the dimension of the dialogue between the modern and the Popular. Bo Bardi spoke of a space to be built by living people, an unfinished space that would be completed by the popular and everyday use.

Hashim Sarkis

Hashim Sarkis is an architect, educator, and scholar. He is principal of Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS), established in 1998 with offices in Boston and Beirut. He is also the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2015.

Before joining MIT, Sarkis was the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Harvard University. He has also taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, the American University of Beirut, and the Metropolis Program in Barcelona.

The architectural and urban projects of HSS include affordable housing, houses, parks, institutional buildings, urban design, and town planning. HSS has received several awards for its projects in Lebanon, including for the Housing of the Fishermen of Tyre, Byblos Town Hall, and the Courtower Houses, on the coast of Aamchit. The firm’s work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Pavilion of the United States at Biennale Architettura 2014 and the Pavilion of Albania at Biennale Architettura 2010, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the International Architucture Biennale Rotterdam, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture of Shenzhen/Hong Kong, and the Bienal de Arquitectura y Urbanismo in Valparaíso. The work has also been published extensively, most recently in a monograph by NESS.docs (New York, Barcelona: Actar, 2017).

Sarkis was member of the international jury of Biennale Architettura 2016.

Sarkis earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture and a PhD in Architecture from Harvard University. He is the author and editor of several books and articles on modern architecture history and theory, including Josep Lluis Sert, The Architect of Urban Design (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008); Circa 1958, Lebanon in the Projects and Plans of Constantinos Doxiadis (Beirut: Dar Annahar, 2003); and Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital (Munich: Prestel, 2001).

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