The Venice Architecture Biennale has returned with its 17th installation, “How Will We Live Together?”, featuring 114 participants representing 46 countries and a variety of perspectives on the titular question from curator Hashim Sarkis — a prompt that he had established before the various events that marked 2020.

This year’s show commenced with an inaugural ceremony and presentation of the famed Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award, presented to Harvard GSD’s Rafael Moneo. In addition to Moneo’s honor, a variety of Harvard GSD faculty and students are participating throughout the 2021 Biennale’s programming.

Broadly considered the world’s premier event of its kind, the Venice Biennale originated in 1895 as a set of art exhibitions, expanding to include biannual shows dedicated to other cultural production, including architecture. The Venice Architecture Biennale generally has been held every two years since 1980. This year’s Biennale of Architecture represents a reschedule from its original May 2020 start date, opening to the public on May 22, 2021.

“The current global pandemic has no doubt made the question that this Biennale Architettura is asking all the more relevant and timely, even if somehow ironic, given the imposed isolation,” Sarkis observes. “It may indeed be a coincidence that the theme was proposed a few months before the pandemic. However, many of the reasons that initially led us to ask this question — the intensifying climate crisis, massive population displacements, political instabilities around the world, and growing racial, social, and economic inequalities, among others — have led us to this pandemic and have become all the more relevant.”

On view until Nov. 21, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale’s main exhibition is organized into five scalar categories of work, exhibited across the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet. The main exhibition also includes a series of research stations that complement and enrich projects on display with in-depth analysis of related topics.

Read more about the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale and its Harvard GSD programming via Harvard GSD’s coverage.

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