2 August 2016
by Alastair Donald
At the Venice Architecture Biennale, from 25-27 August, we will be working with European partners to host three days of events exploring the central theme of this year's Biennale, 'Reporting from the Front'.
Encounters in Optimism: Utopia in a Finite World is a programme of lectures, debates and salon talks that will take place in August at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition.
The programme elaborates on the themes of the Biennale for a varied audience of architects, students and the general public. This collaborative initiative, which we have organised in partnership with Flanders Architecture Institute, Creative Industries Fund NL and the Deutsche Architekturmuseum, will take place in the British, Belgian, German and Baltic national pavilions.
Thursday 25 August
Imagining the Future
Talk: Darran Anderson
German Pavilion, 1.00 – 2.45pm
The Encounters in Optimism programme opens on Thursday 25 August with ‘Imagining the Future’ featuring a talk by Darran Anderson, the UK based author of the acclaimed book Imaginary Cities. Darran will explore the role that the human imagination plays in the creation of our world. The respondent will be Brussels based architect Adrien Verschuere.
Friday 26 August
Beauty and Judgement
Round Table Discussion: Andrea Zanderigo, Angel Deuber, Adrien Verschuere
British Pavilion, 2.00 – 3.30pm
The British Pavilion event on Friday 26 August, ‘Beauty and Judgement’ explores the collapse of the aesthetic in architecture and the broader cultural dismissal of the importance beauty. Extending the British Council’s Venice Partnerships programme, this roundtable discussion organised by the AE Foundation will draw on the personal practice of a trio of speakers based in Italy (Andrea Zanderigo), Switzerland (Angela Deuber) and Belgium (Adrien Verschuere). They will consider whether the pursuit of beauty should be reclaimed, and ask how aesthetic judgment might go beyond the legacy of postmodernism and the dominance of personal taste.
These events are free to beinnale attendees.
Also on August 26, the Belgian Pavilion will host debates on ‘Architecture and Representation’, ‘Utopia and the Everyday’ and ‘Critical Practices’ while the Baltic Pavilion host a book reading of The Baltic Atlas. The programme concludes on Saturday 27 August with two talks in the German pavilion: ‘Architecture and Migration’ and ‘Constructing the City’.
The talks programme follows on from an international student workshop Utopia in a Finite World, a new collaboration between nine European architecture schools. The workshop includes participants from the Bartlett School of Architecture as well as TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, University of Hasselt, University of Antwerp, University of Ghent, KU Leuven, University of Liège and University of Wuppertal. The workshop concludes with a pop-up exhibition that will showcase the results of the workshop, ranging from temporary installations to performances and interventions in the national pavilions throughout the Giardini.