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From the inside to the outside. Architecture Venice Biennales 2014 and 2016

conference contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Diego Fullaondo
The comparison between the Position Statements of the latest two Venice Biennale of Architecture, Fundamentals, directed by Rem Koolhaas in 2014 and Reporting from the front that Alejandro Aravena prepares for 2016, is an evident sign of the internal stress that architectural practice has been suffering during the last decade. Koolhaas intensively focused on the immediate past whilst Aravena presents a Biennalle strongly decided to explore possible alternatives for the future of Architecture. The first one tried to define the core, the
essence, the most elemental particles that utterly compose Architecture. The second looks at the boundaries, the periphery, the outskirts, the limits of the discipline. Fundamentals was theoretical, personal, abstract, compact and aesthetic. Reporting from the front will be practical, collective, concrete, permeable and ethical. This fertile antagonism or counterpoint between both approaches is too frequently understood as incompatible. However, as a matter of fact the coexistence of these two different perspectives within architectural practice is the most
distinctive feature of the complex contemporary architectural landscape. The insertion of the analysis of both position statements within the historical evolution of the Venice Bienale since 1980, allows a reinterpretation of the antagonism between the two exhibitions and evidences some lines of thought and action in the architectural world. Following the war industry terminology that Report from the front has chosen, Aravena identifies with precision the theatre of operations; the space and time that is requesting an urgent response from architecture.
Previously Koolhaas had defined the armament that Architecture has available to undertake this crucial mission: to define the role and relevance of Architecture in the immediate future. Until now, battles in the front have been a guerrilla warfare. More reactive than proactive. Battles for survival more than for experience. Necessary but, at the same time, insufficient. Valuable actions in radical contexts; heroic acts in extreme situations; occasional infiltrations that find their final reason for being in their own audacity. Time has come for these counterattack
architectures to evolve from protests to proposals.



Architectural Design and Criticism. Conference (2nd : 2016 : Madrid, Spain)


154 - 163


Critic|all Press


Madrid, Spain

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Madrid, Spain

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Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2016, Critic|all Press



Title of proceedings

2016 : Proceedings of the 2nd Critic|all International Conference on Architectural Design and Criticism

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