Venice Architecture Biennale Does Best Without Architects – NYTimes.com

VENICE — Save for a few projects and pavilions, probably the less said, the better, about “Common Ground,” the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, organized by the fine British architect David Chipperfield.

With a sea change partly generational, mostly philosophical overtaking architecture, and attention turning from glamorous buildings and celebrated designers to broader issues like urbanism, public space, social responsibility and collaboration, “Common Ground” is well intended but, alas, a missed opportunity.

Its organizers nod toward some fresh agenda, with the biennale’s president, Paolo Baratta, writing in the exhibition catalog about architects emerging “from the crisis of identity they are going through,” and rediscovering “the irrevocable relationship between architecture, space and town planning.” Mr. Chipperfield notes that architects, once again, are paying more attention to cities, which are “created in collaboration with every citizen.”

But the urbanist gloss notwithstanding, the show mostly just glides over issues like public housing and health there’s a paper-thin section on social housing, the environment, informal settlements, economic decline and protest.

via Venice Architecture Biennale Does Best Without Architects – NYTimes.com.

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