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 in the Cooperative Caracol and given a new lease of life for the refugees. 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 one-week workshop worked in the re-installation of the basic unit prototype ‘Full Fill Home’ in the Social Center of Rivolta after the end of the exhibition. Through work team, participation and design, students and refugees will rebuild and redesign an appropriate afterlife of the installation elements for social use in Marghera.
In collaboration with
Rivolta Social Center
El mehdi Bamhaoud
Mirko De Roia
Maria Giulia Ferrari