The architecture world will still convene in Venice – just a year later. Today, La Biennale di Venezia announced that the 17th edition of the Italian city’s International Architecture Exhibition has been postponed until 2021, with the six-month showcase now set to take place from May 22 to November 21 of next year.
While Italy is now recovering from its deadly COVID-19 outbreak – with much of the manufacturing sector already resuming activity – the global pandemic is continuing to push back the global design calendar.
According to the organizers, the decision to postpone the architecture biennale is an “acknowledgment that it is impossible to move forward – within the set time limits – in the realization of such a complex and worldwide exhibition, due to the persistence of a series of objective difficulties caused by the effects by the health emergency underway.”
Curated by architect and MIT School of Architecture Dean Hashim Sarkis, Venice’s 17th International Architecture Exhibition is organized around the theme How Will We Live Together? The biennale aims to map out the evolving role of architects in a global context of rapidly growing economic inequality and extreme political divides – all now exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Neither the question I asked How will we live together? nor the wealth of ways in response to it, were meant to address the crisis they are living, but here we are,” says Sarkis. “We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the Biennale Architettura 2021. The theme does also provide us with the possibility to respond to the pandemic in its immediacy. This is why we will return to Venice in the coming months for a series of activities devoted to the Architecture.”
With the Biennale Architettura rescheduled to 2021, the 59th edition of the Biennale Arte will now be held in 2022. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the seven-month show – which was originally set to take place next year – will in turn be held from April 23 to November 27, 2022.
While Venice’s biennales have been pushed back, the global pandemic has brought an end to another staple of the Italian design calendar – Milan’s Ventura Projects. After 10 successful and highly memorable years of Milan Design Week programming, the curated design exhibitions (including Ventura Centrale and Ventura Future) have been permanently cancelled.
The marquee architectural showcase has been pushed back a year in response to the COVID-19 crisis.