2012 Scotland + Venice: Critical Dialogues
* All images courtesy: Scotland+Venice 2012 & Gilmar Ribeiro
The 2012 Scottish contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, Critical Dialogues, showcased projects from four emerging practices exploring the social role of the architect and the creative boundaries of architecture.
To see a PDF of the Critical Dialogues publication, please visit the Architecture & Design Scotland website. To find out what went on at the 2012 UK Pavilion in Venice, please visit www.venicetakeaway.com
Scotland + Venice 2012 is a partnership between Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and British Council Scotland.
Organised as a week long series of events within the public realm, the projects played with a series of popular themes that have their roots in the long history of alternative architectural and urban practice - the politics of community engagement, the ludic dimensions of architecture, the celebration of the architecture of everyday life and the investigation of different ways of seeing and mapping.
As well as planning a sequence of actions that engaged with overlooked and marginalised places and social organisations, each practice developed a methodological ‘tool kit' that was adaptable and playful so that in principle any one of the projects can be transferred and repeated in other urban locations.
For their project Ludoarchiteca, Stone Opera drew on their experience in play and design education and designed a full size kit of cardboard building blocks with a diagrammatic instruction manual. It was installed in a park in the Cannaregio neighbourhood where local children become ‘builders for the day’.
DO with Derive Veneziana set out to explore and map the working life and periphery of the city through photographs and film footage shot remotely from a low flying red helium balloon. This still and moving imagery, edited into a film, took the viewer on a journey through a previously unseen city.
GRAS’s project for a Galeria Temporanea, also played with visual perception and comprised of a pop-up mobile gallery fabricated out of interlocking white panels. The gallery visited disused well-heads that dot the city, temporarily isolating, framing and objectifying them as important works of architecture.
In contrast Pidgin Perfect’s Banchetto was driven by a commitment to engaging with communities who are normally excluded from the design process. To this end they organised a tour of the main Biennale for a group of local residents who had never before crossed its threshold and invited them to eat, drink and talk architecture at a ‘theatrical’ open air dinner held in the old Castello Alto-Basso neighbourhood of the city.
Scotland Week culminated with the screening of edited footage and documentation of the weeks actions and events and a reception held in Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice (see directions below), the studio hub used by the practices as their Venetian headquarters.
“...I sincerely think that what
All in a week and all cared in every single detail, and by realising this project using an old convent- that's really a wonderful space in an area of
I'm 25 years old, I'm attending the Ca'
I've worked in the cultural field since a few years, doing internships in institutions like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Venice Biennale, the Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival, but, of course, following such a project from the very beginning, broadening my knowledge in a different, and absolutely vibrant scene, is a once in a life opportunity.
Moreover, this project could become the subject of my final thesis, and I would discuss it also in an institutional way with my Ca Foscari professors.”
The S+V Studio in Venice The Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is a former convent now used as a community centre. Situated midway between the main Biennale Giardini and Arsenale sites the Ludoteca is on Fondamenta San Gioacchino. Just off the wide Via Garibaldi it is very accessible and easy to find.
1. Vaporetto lines 1, 41/42 Arsenale stop.
Walk over the bridge to the right to Riva S. Biagio. Turn left and walk to the end of Via Guiseppe Garibaldi. This is a wide street, keep left, over one small bridge and the Ludoteca is on the left on Fondamenta San Gioacchino.
2. Vaporetto lines 1, 2, 41/42, 51/52, 61/62 Giardini stop.
Walk directly through the park along Viale Garibaldi which brings you out at the end of Via Garibaldi. At the canal (Rio di S. Anna) keep left to Fondamenta San Gioacchino.
The route along Viale Garibaldi is also the main walkway from the Giardini to the Arsenale or vice versa.
For follow up information about the 2012 Architecture Biennale, please please visit the Architecture & Design Scotland website.