We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together:
· together as human beings who, despite increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space;
· together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation;
· together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion, and spatial identity;
· together across political borders to imagine new geographies of association;
· together as a planet facing crises that require global action for all of us to continue living at all.
The participants in the 17th International Architecture Exhibition are collaborating with other professions and constituencies – artists, builders, engineers, and craftspeople, but also politicians, journalists, social scientists, and everyday citizens. In effect, the Biennale Architettura 2021 asserts the vital role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.
In parallel, this Exhibition also maintains that it is in its material, spatial, and cultural specificity that architecture inspires the ways we live together. In that respect, we ask the participants to highlight those aspects of the main theme that are uniquely architectural.
Hashim Sarkis, Curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition