It is finally that time of the year! The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale has been officially presented!

The 18th Architecture exhibition will be held from May 20th till November 26th and has been titled The Laboratory of the Future.

Given these premises, the main focus will be the agents of change. During the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, in fact, themes like decarbonization and decolonization will be discussed.

Shall we see more?

Where the 2023 Venice architecture Biennale will be held

2023 Venice architecture Biennale
Picture by Bas Boerman via Flickr

As usual, the exhibitions and events will be spread throughout the city center and the metropolitan area.

The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, in fact, will be hosted in the Giardini and the Arsenale, as usual. Then, you will be able to see many exhibitions at Forte Marghera, in the mainland (close to Mestre train station) and on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore (where the Holy See has its own pavilion).

There will be 63 National Pavilions, subdivided as follows: 27 at the Giardini, 22 at the Arsenale, and 14 in the city center. 89 Participants will attend, over half of whom are from Africa or the African Diaspora.

What's new in this 2023 edition of the Architecture Biennale?

Picture by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France, via Wikimedia Commons

As we have seen, the main focus is the “agents of change”.

For this reason, there will be a lot of news. First thing first, Niger will participate for the first time and Panama will have its own Pavilion.

Then, as we have seen, the Holy See will return with its own Pavilion.

There will be gender equality, since a 50/50 gender balance, with an average age of 43 (the youngest is 24).

Additionally, 70% of exhibits will be run by an individual or a very small team! Isn't it great?

Who is the curator of the entire edition?

Lesley Lokko is in charge of the entire event.

She is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist. She has been a teacher in New York, London, Accra and Edinburgh.

Much of her writings contain themes related to cultural identity.

In 2021 she has been appointed as curator of the Architecture exhibition and we are sure she'll do an amazing job.

The Italian pavilion

Picture by Marinalesandro, via Wikimedia Commons

The Pavilion of our country is located at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale.

It is curated by the Fosbury Architecture collective and it is titled SPAZIALE: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else.

What is the meaning of the "agents of change"?

What is the meaning of this new international architecture exhibition?

That's what the curator has said:

An architecture exhibition is both a moment and a process. It borrows its structure and format from art exhibitions, but it differs from art in critical ways which often go unnoticed.

It is logical that the question of production and resources will be the main focus, so it is clear that the deep aim of The Laboratory of the Future is ‘change’.

What Leslie Lokko is trying to say is that we often listen to just one voice, ignoring all the other points of view. That's because we listen just to the voice of the "winner". That procedure, however, even though it is more simple, it is also simplistic.

It is like we have been listening and speaking in one tongue only - the curator has said - The ‘story’ of architecture is therefore incomplete. Not wrong, but incomplete.

A different and broader understanding is what will make the real change and the broader understating pass through the use of words also.

A changing use of words

Among all the changes of this 18th international exhibition is the new use of words.

That's what the curator has said:

We have deliberately chosen to frame participants as ‘practitioners’ and not ‘architects’ and/or ‘urbanists’, ‘designers’, ‘landscape architects’, ‘engineers’ or ‘academics’.

The world is rapidly changing and we have to face this new hybridization with new and different eyes. The term ‘architect’ is much broader than it may seem.

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