13th Biennale di Venezia. [VEN] Italy. 28/08/2012
metalocus, JOSÉ JUAN BARBA via Susanne Lambert. Image MEDIA AGENCY
GREENHOUSE TALK. this will be one of those interesting conversation, you will not be missed if you are these days there, and to be held on the occasion of the opening of the Venice Architecture Biennale regarding the architecture, actually on the cities, in China, India and The Netherlands.
GREENHOUSE TALK is a conversation will take place on the morning of August 28 in the Serra dei Giardini in Venice, Italy during the preview of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia, between Pritzker Prize Laureate Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture (China), Rahul Mehrotra of RMA architects (India) and Francine Houben of Mecanoo (the Netherlands). The meeting, which will be introduced by Pippo Ciorra and moderated by Ole Bourman, places into discussion the confrontation between design cultures in the great countries of Eastern Asia and Europe.
The event promoted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, in collaboration with the MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome and the NAi - Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, which focuses on issues of accessibility, increasing housing demand, public space and global urban drift. Based on the theme “Common Ground” of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia, in the form of a casual morning conversation, Greenhouse Talk intends to elaborate and reflect on a widely contended issue: the most recent urban transformations and contrasts on a global scale between Western and Eastern design culture. Interaction between the east and west of the world, which seems to be a necessary condition in order to identify a new model of urban development, taps into the needs and expectations of a mixed, heterogeneous, and global community.
The dialogue between the Western and Eastern cities, between consolidated nations and developing countries, was born from a need to question the urban and architectural theories that have emerged in view of a new urban expression defined by recent geopolitical transformations. The dialogue of Greenhouse Talk is thus oriented to address these phenomena. A conversation introduced by Pippo Ciorr with Francine Houben from Mecanoo Architects (Delft, the Netherlands); Pritzker Prize Laureate Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu from Amateur Architecture Studio (Hangzhou, Cina); Rahul Mehrotra, founder of RMA architects. Ole Bouman, director of the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam) and curator of the Netherlands Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 (“RE-SET. New wings for architecture.” by Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse), will draw conclusions.
The talk intends to compare ideas and cultures which are profoundly diverse within a “common territory” defined by the role of architecture within the current global geopolitical and social scenes. Pippo Ciorra believes that “moving from this assumption we think that whatever discussion on the future role of architecture has to be first framed in the dialogue between western architects and designers coming from far and ‘raising’ countries and then articulated in a series of inevitable topics we will all be facing everywhere in the next years. Basically, just to confirm the consistency of this panel within the frame of the general topic of the Biennale, a new common ground for architecture”. If there is a need to decipher, interpret or provide a solution to an urban or architectural territorial framework whose boundaries have become increasingly frayed and blurred, the resources generated from cultural diversity can offer the basis for a common starting point to update architecture’s current and future role in society.
Introductory text for Greenhouse Talk
“The course of history and the dynamics of geopolitics in this early XXI Century make us consider architecture less a self-centered discipline than a mix of art , communication strategies and technics whose role is increasingly dependent from the conditions of different geographic, economic and climatic scenarios. Moving from this assumption we think that whatever discussion on the future role of architecture has to be first framed in the dialogue between western architects and designers coming from far and ‘raising’ countries and then articulated in a series of inevitable topics we will all be facing everywhere in the next years. Basically, just to confirm the consistency of this panel within the frame of the general topic of the Biennale, a new common ground for architecture. Among those topics it is easy to list: mass demand for housing, sandwitched between the increasing population of large and mega cities and the deep and global weakening of welfare systems; accessibility, as a basic character of the democracy of space, questioned by the unprecedented size cities and communities are assuming today and by the inner limits of material and immaterial public networks and infrastructures; public space, intended as an obvious victim of the phenomena mentioned above and as the possible common task for socially sensible designers; inurbation and growth, as the anacronistic but still resistent protagonist of the transformation of cities and space, contradictory engine of the global economy. The discussion between actors and witnesses operating in Europe, India and China, is expected to push towards the identification of a new centre for architectural theory and to allow a wide base for global dialogue and cultural confrontation.”
Txt by Pippo Ciorra, moderator for Greenhouse Talk.
Francine Houben is founder of the architecture firm Mecanoo in Delft and is professor in Architecture, Chair of Aesthetics of Mobility at the Delft University of Technology.(www.mecanoo.nl)
Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu founded Amateur Architecture Studio in 1997 in Hangzhou, China. In 2012 they were awarded the Pritzker architecture prize.
Rahul Mehrotra is principal of architecture firm Rahul Mehrotra Associates in Mumbai, India. He is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD (Graduate School of Design) in Cambridge, Mass., USA. (www.rmaarchitects.com)
Venue: Serra dei Giardini. viale Giuseppe Garibaldi 1254, Venice (Castello), Italy. Dates: Tuesday August 28, 2012 from 9 to 11 am.