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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.

The entrance to Grafton Architects' Freespace exhibition in the Arsenale is hung with ropes – a reference to the mooring lines that were once manufactured there. (Photo by Alex Fradkin)
Grafton Architects’ Freespace at the 2018 Venice Biennale Architettura. PHOTO: Alex Fradkin

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.

Impostor Cities, T B A, David Theodore, Canada Council for the Arts, 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture
Impostor Cities to Represent Canada at Venice Biennale
Organized by T B A and David Theodore, Impostor Cities explores the tension of “film-famous” Canadian cities that rarely get to play themselves.

“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.

New 2021 Dates Announced for Venice Architecture Biennale

The marquee architectural showcase has been pushed back a year in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.