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"The future is shared or none". Spanish Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

07 of June '21

: Uncertainty often means anxiety. Visiting the cloud virtually, I had the impression that it was more of a space full of calm, order.

AG: The experience of this space is varied. My impression is that there is something poignant about it, however. We often hear comments from visitors who point out that we've actually filled the entire room with architects' portfolios, which is somehow disturbing, especially when viewed through the lens of the economic crisis that has been choking architecture in Spain for thirteen years. I wouldn't want to focus on that message. Our goal is to point out that only by acting together are we able to confront the many concerns associated with the fluid reality in which we live. The anxiety you mention is a very important aspect of uncertainty. Some time ago, I read a psychological study in which researchers pointed out that in the face of uncertainty, people are inclined to adopt suboptimal solutions just to shorten the distress. They know this is not the best option, but they need a quick answer, an instant gratification of the need for some stability. This speed of seeking answers to questions that take us over is incredibly important. At the pavilion, we pay attention to projects that develop long-term processes, we are not looking for solutions that can be presented in the form of a single picture or a finished object. We are looking for open-ended projects that have a process dimension, that develop over a long period of time and, in cooperation with many participants, allow the effects of uncertainty to be alleviated in the long run. It's not about quickly satisfying a need, this hunger for stability, it's more about learning how to deal with uncertainty together, developing processes that allow us to look for sustainable tools to find our place in this rapidly changing world, to think about how we live and how we will live together, in a calm and deliberately slow way.

: You've talked about adopting the posture of architects of social dialogue coordinators. What does that mean? What do you think are the challenges facing architects today?

AG: It seems to me that every crisis, which is also the current pandemic, presents an incredible opportunity for architects to regain trust in the eyes of the public. But for that to happen, we need to show that we want to open architecture to new ways of communication, to a dialogue in which we listen more than we talk. One of the ideas we are presenting in the pavilion is the project "El MemeUrbanita" [proj.: Alberto López de Lucas], in which a student created a small booklet full of memes about the city. It is a modern and humorous way of communicating important ideas.

"El MemeUrbanita," proj.: Alberto López de Lucas

: Was indeed this change in the role of the architect observed in the submitted projects and portfolios?

AG: Definitely! The pavilion presents various profiles of architects, from an experienced poet to a young musician. Among others, an artist of Chinese descent living in Madrid, creating under the pseudonym Putochinomaricón, submitted his work - an architect who, instead of developing his love of the city or interest in architecture by building, decided to sing, to create music on topics close to his heart, related to acceptance and social exclusion. By his own admission, in his songs he often refers to socio-spatial issues he discovered while studying architecture. We also have the idea of an architect from the MAGICARCH office, who designs ties depicting elements of architecture typical of different regions of the world. One of them refers to the work of Lina Bo Bardi, this year's Golden Lion winner, who was not afraid to go beyond the traditional role of an architect. Through this rather eclectic collection of ties, one is actually inviting people to talk about architecture, about our heritage and to think about where the boundaries of our profession actually lie.

: You say that the future is shared or none at all. What further plans do you have for building this shared future?

AG: It would be fantastic to be able to keep expanding the "cloud", to collect more work and to invite more and more architects from different fields to decide to come out of their secluded studios and openly share the questions they ask through their projects. I would very much like our pavilion to be like a box in London's Hyde Park, where everyone can come in and think out loud about the challenges of today's architecture, and the role of the architect in society. I would very much like the pavilion to become just such an egalitarian forum for contemporary architecture.

Ola: This is what I wish for you! Thank you for the interview.

Ola Kloc

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