Cities, architecture and society - curated by Richard Burdett
“More than half of the world’s population lives in cities”, states the Director of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, Richard Burdett.
“A century ago, it was less than 10%. The 21st century will be the first truly urban era, in which more than 75% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, much of it in mega-cities with more than 20 million inhabitants concentrated in the countries undergoing rapid development in Asia ,Africa and South America . In the meantime, many Western and European cities are shrinking, or have been forced to re-invent themselves in order to adapt to a post-industrial condition.
The aim is both to inform and provoke a debate on the way we shape the future of urban society, just at the point that cities represent such a critical mass of the global agenda. It is an attempt to re-engage the physical structure of cities – their buildings, spaces and streets which is the domain of architects and urban designers – with the social, cultural and economic dimensions of urban existence. Despite, the informed perceptions of urban thinkers – from Jane Jacobs to Aldo Rossi , from Saskia Sassen to Rem Koolhaas – the architectural profession has perhaps been overly insulated from this interdisciplinary debate. By bringing the everyday life of cities from around the world to Venice, and by inviting research institutions to share their visions for urban intervention, the 10th International Architecture Exhibition Cities, architecture and society
is designed to make a cultural contribution to one of the most press ing social questions facing mankind in the 21st century.”
Using photography, film and mixed-media presentations, Cities, architecture and society
has been designed by Aldo Cibic and Luigi Marchetti - Cibic&Partners to recreate the urban experiences of 16 world cities
in four different continents within the 300-metre long Corderie dell’Arsenale. These include: Barcelona
, Spain (population: 4,424,000); Berlin
, Germany (population: 3,328,000); Bogotá
, Colombia (population: 7,594,000); Cairo
, Egypt (population: 11,146,000); Caracas
, Venezuela (population: 3,276,000); Istanbul
, Turkey (population: 9,760,000); Johannesburg
, South Africa (population: 3,288,000); London
, Great Britain (population: 7,615,000); Los Angeles
United States (population: 12,146,000); Mexico City
, Mexico (population: 19,013,000); Milan-Torino
, Italy (population: 4,007,000 and 1,182,000); Mumbai
, India (population: 18,336,000); New York
, United States (population: 18,498,000); São Paulo
, Brazil (population: 18,333,000); Shanghai
, China (population: 12,665,000); and Tokyo
, Japan (population: 35,327,000).
The exhibition will not only feature information and data on how these cities are being transformed in social, economic and cultural terms but also display new architectural and urban projects
that are affecting the way people live, work and move in the dense metropolitan environment of these world cities.
The Padiglione Italia
will be transformed into a window on the state-of-the-art of urban research in cities. Twelve influential research and teaching institutions from Italy ,Mexico ,India ,Germany ,Great Britain ,Holland ,Switzerland ,UK and the USA will display design work and ideas on cities, reflecting the current re-engagement of the architectural profession with social and economic processes. The Berlage Institute
form Rotterdam will describe different ways of reading and intervening in different urban conditions. Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture
(OMA/AMO) will present recent research on Lagos and Dubai . The ETH Basel Contemporary City Studio
will show an analytical portrait of Switzerland and its emerging urban geographies. The MIT Senseable Cities Laboratory
will show original digital mapping on Real Time Rome, tracking mobile phone and movement patterns. The University of Texas at Austin
is exploring the social and political impacts of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and other cities affected by the natural disaster. The Universidad Iberoamericana
, the Urban Design Research Institute
and the Istituto Universitario Architettura Venezia
(IUAV) will analyse the relationship between urban design and global change in Mexico City , Mumbai and Venice and its regional hinterland. The Royal College of Art
in London will develop concepts of the emerging ‘ecstacity’ as a reflection on contemporary urban life. The Architecture Foundation
in London and The MoMA
will collaborate to an innovative media project to realize a live radio station during the Venice Biennale preview. The Schrumpfende Städte - Shrinking Cities
project will describe the effect of de-industrialisation on the quality of life in European and American cities. The central space of the Padiglione Italia will be dedicated to an exhibition of city photographs curated by C-Photo Magazine
, providing a historic panorama of how cities have captured the imagination of photographers and artists around the globe for over a century.
Under the overarching theme of Cities, architecture and society
, there are a number of significant collateral events
and initiatives that provide a truly global perspective on cities in addition to the main exhibition on sixteen world cities within the Corderie. These collateral sections, under the banner of the Italian government’s Sensi Contemporanei
project , include Claudio d’Amato Guerrieri
’s exhibition, Cities of Stone
, to be held at the Artiglierie dell’Arsenale in Venice, and Rinio Bruttomesso
’s exhibition, City-Port
, which will take place in Palermo. 50 countries
have already confirmed their participation in the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, providing a unique overview on how architects, planners and designers are responding different urban complexities around the world. The national pavilions will feature a range of urban and architectural projects responding to the press ures of contemporary life: migration, urban sprawl, de-industrialisation and social change. The examples presented include the case of extreme suburbanisation in Ireland , exponential urban growth in Asia , racial exclusion in post-apartheid South Africa , the effect of new architecture in the urban regeneration of towns and cities of northern England .and a new vision of the city in Italy .Over twenty architecture schools from Italy and abroad
will be invited to engage with the core theme of the Cities, Architecture and Society
exhibition, and their work will be displayed in the Padiglione Italia from 8-19 November 2006. The Learning from cities
project will be co-ordinated by Francesco Garofalo .
During the three months that the exhibition is open, a series of conferences , co-ordinated by Guido Martinotti , will explore the central themes of urban governance, mobility and the quality of urban life.
With its diverse insights, initiatives and perspectives, the Padiglione Italia and individual displays within the national pavilions will complement the detailed narratives of 16 world cities
and, in tandem with the Cities of Stone
exhibition in the Arsenale , will provide the visitor to this Architecture Biennale with a rich and diverse experience of urban life. The 10 th Architecture Exhibition will conclude with a manifesto for the cities of the 21st century
dedicated to the potential contribution that architecture and urban design can make to a more sustainable, democratic and fair world. Cities, architecture and society
will be accompanied by a monograph published by Marsilio
, covering the themes and contents of the international exhibition at the Corderie dell’Arsenale , with essays by Richard Burdett and Saskia Sassen as well as interviews with architects and social critics on the interactions between architecture and the city. It will also include profiles of the selected cities with comparative data on social and economic change, and insights into the key aspects of city life as well as summaries of the work presented by international research institutions featured in the Padiglione Italia. A second volume documents the exhibitions in the national pavilions, collateral events, conferences and special projects. Richard Burdett
(London , 1956) who was brought up in Rome , is an architect and urbanist based in London . He is Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at the London School of Economics and architectural adv iser to the Mayor of London. His expertise lies in understanding the links between architecture, urban design and urban society. Burdett has played a key role in institutions that have shaped the culture of architecture in the UK – the 9H Gallery, the Architecture Foundation, the LSE Cities Programme, the Mayor’s Architecture and Urbanism Unit and the UK government’s Urban Task Force. He is an adv iser to public and private organisations including the Tate, the BBC and NM Rothschild, and sits on the Mayor of Barcelona’s Quality Committee. He has been a jury member of many international design competitions including the MAXXI in Rome , the Tate Modern in London , the Forum 2004 in Barcelona and a new residential district in Beijing . He runs a series of annual meeting attended by European Mayors and is responsible for the ‘Urban Age’ series of international conferences held in global cities including New York ,Shanghai ,London ,Berlin ,Mexico City and Johannesburg . Burdett has curated over 40 exhibitions on contemporary architecture and urban design, is a regular commentator on architecture and cities in the international press and media.