at 15. International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

Taking Care designing for the common good

The Italian Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale 2016: ideas, examples and practical proposals for architecture in the service of the common good. With a call to action continuing far beyond the close of the exhibition.

Venice, 27 November 2016 – A large Pop Art container of metabolic architecture capable of producing more resources than those used for its creation, in terms of culture, knowledge, social cohesion, sense of belonging, and economic value. In the 6 months it’s been open, the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016 Taking Care, designing for the common good – curated by the Tamassociati team – has offered ideas, examples and practical proposals for architecture that is replicable, comprehensible and adaptable to community needs. Participatory, generating open-ended processes. High creativity at low cost.

From the gallery-movie theatre to the installation in the Giardino delle Vergini, passing through the photographic exhibition, maxi-panels and the focus on major items in the exhibition (the sections ‘Thinking’, ‘Meeting’ and ‘Acting’ ), the exhibition layout recounted the method, potential and achievements of responsible architecture, proactive and attentive to social contexts. The exhibition that has aroused keen interest among experts as well as the general public, transforming the pavilion precincts into a laboratory for exchanging ideas. Amid the constant coming and going of visitors, space was found for numerous guided tours, meetings and encounters.

Most of all, the programme of initiatives designed by DGAAP in accord with TAMassociati which involved groups of freshers from Italian Faculties of Engineering and Architecture (Padua, Reggio Calabria, Syracuse, Alghero, Rome and Mantua) and training workshops on the theme of ‘social architecture and the fundamental role of architecture in peripheral contexts.

Significantly, the results of the ideas competition for redeveloping the Italian peripheries promoted by MiBACT-DGAAP and CNAPPC were announced in the Italian Pavilion last November. The peripheries to which MiBACT and DGAAP devote constant and increasing attention, including the promotion of sensitive architecture as an instrument for claiming and defending rights.

Values and rights such as legality, health, housing, the environment, education, culture, play, science, nutrition and work, have thus found in the pavilion a common house where they are recycled into original projects fostering urban and peri-urban regeneration.

From Casal di Principe to Tor Marancia, from Milan to Turin and Zaragoza, from Jerusalem to Bologna, Trentino and Emilia, through Mexico, Lombardy, Switzerland and Sicily, 20 real projects were selected, including some that are without precedent. They are so many different embodiments of the concept of the common good.

Created by Italian architects – some of them the subject of ‘special mentions’ by the CNAPPC in the recent Festa del Architetto’ – or by practices with a strong Italian component (16 built in Italy, 4 abroad) they show how architecture can make a difference while telling the stories of places and communities.

The pavilion’s contents exploded in the ‘Acting’ section, where the concern with the peripheries by the MiBACT-DGAAP gave rise to a joint detailed plan devised by young architects and firmly established voluntary organizations active in the Italian territory.

Goal: with a civic crowdfunding platform (the first in Italy dedicated to the peripheries) to produce 5 mobile architectures ready to intervene in areas of difficulty and social exclusion. Managed by the voluntary associations, they will become a library, a clinic, an environmental monitoring unit, an anti-mafia centre, and a multi-sports centre. All on the road. To ensure that rights will reach, guard, repair and fertilize the grey areas of the country.

Taking Care – as the curators declared from the start – was a project born in the Italian Pavilion, which will have a concrete future outside it. To date, the help of our supporters has meant that one mobile unit will be delivered shortly, another will be produced later this year and a third is already partly funded.

Fundraising – the latest news – will continue on the dedicated platform until 31 December 2016 for the two remaining units.

pics: here
Credits ph: Andrea Avezzù
Credits graphic: TAMassociati