Slide background

Samskara, Made in India © 2014 Anshika Varma


BUILDING KNOWLEDGE IN VENICE. Designing the afterlife of the Biennale installation
UCJC Madrid Workshop

High profile international events that generate economic activity and attract numbers of global visitors to a city, do not come without some unplanned negative implications for the local area and the local population. In the case of the Venice architecture Biennale alternating with the art Biennale each year, these include a significant amount of ‘waste’ generated annually, an invasion of ‘touristic’ quality in the public spaces and the affordability of housing rents and services for the local population. While its cultural high points maybe a matter of local pride, meanwhile the day to day life of the local inhabitants, especially in the peripheral areas of Marghera and Mestre, are not without their daily existential struggles for the basics.

Anupama Kundoo’s installation ‘Building Knowledge’ at the 15th Architecture Biennale, thus responds to the theme of the year ‘Reporting from the Front’ by carefully considering the issues mentioned above. Mostly constructed out of recycled materials used by last year’s German Pavilion at the art biennale, her installation includes 1:1 scale prototypes of ‘Full Fill Homes’ an example of affordable habitat, and an ‘Easy WC’. These constructions have significantly reduced the quantity of newly sourced materials and extended the life of previous used unwanted materials. Moreover, by incorporating local labour in collaboration with activist group ‘Rebiennale’ it strategically ensures that the ‘Biennale’ funds spent on the construction remains circulating in the local economy in an inclusive approach. And finally, after the dismantling of the installation, the structures will be reinstalled at Marghera and given a new lease of life. The exhibition becomes a means to addressing local issues and contributing to their solutions directly, while exchanging knowledge about building through interdisciplinary and intercultural engagements. The process of installation as well as dismantling become opportunities for building knowledge and building community.

This workshop, connected to Anupama Kundoo’s installation will on one hand explore the issue of building materials, their impact on the environment and the management of ‘waste’ generated by installations and temporary structures. On the other hand it will explore the urban context of Venice and Marghera to understand the locally relevant urban issues and the growing concerns of affordability, particularly of housing. Participants will work in Marghera in the mornings and in Venice in the afternoons, in connection with Anupama Kundoo’s installation and its reconfiguration after the end of the installation. Through team work, participants will propose an appropriate afterlife of the installation elements, for community use in Marghera.

A second workshop to be held in December-January will implement the reconstruction as per the outcome of this workshop.

BUILDING KNOWLEDGE IN VENICE. Designing the afterlife of the Biennale installation
UCJC Madrid Workshop

Venice, Italy

16 April-25 May 2016

Workshop Tutors:
Alba Balmaseda Domínguez
Yashoda Joshi
Sonali Padnis

Cecilia Spampinato
María Rosa Vicente

Daniela Cabrera
Sofía Clemente
Pilar Martínez
Marta Van Gelderen
Sanjana Jadon
Diago Ledesma
Leonardo Llamas
Tamara López
José María Pizarro
Carlota Luengo
Cynthia Escobar
Nelly Tarazona
Jesús Olveda
Luis Tapia
María Rojas
Alberto Valverde
Sophia Salma
Roohia Salma
Namita Nathani
Hares Siddiqui
Simon Kimmel
Serena Abbondanza
Lena Kwasow