La Biennale 2016, Notes 1
So much of design is working with what already exists.
The Spanish Pavilion, themed ‘Unfinished’ was one of most affecting at La Biennale 2016 in Venice. Winner of the Golden Lion Prize for Best Pavilion, it depicted through photography constructions that were unfinished in the fallout from the financial crisis of dashed dreams and crumbled investments.
One of the pictures depicts a family around an artificial Christmas tree in the shell of a building where construction has long halted.
A woman climbs a builders ramp in her slippers and robe.
The Spanish pavilion cohabits well with the theme, Reporting From The Front chosen by Alejandro Aravena, the 2016 curator for The Venice Architecture Biennale. Aravena called on La Biennale submissions to address important social issues. His own work focuses heavily on the reinvention of social housing models to tackle the housing crisis.
In Spain, like many other places, high economic growth sparked building booms. Even today, some years after the crisis, there are many contemporary ruins. But from present and future necessities, optimism is emerging. New designs, far different from their original intentions are being realised in and atop the shells of buildings. In the corner of an immense space, is a glass-walled home. The pavilion shows that design and its processes go on regardless and suggest that ‘unfinished’ is a desirable state where there is a tantalising prospect of future interventions that adapt to the needs of the moment.
Did you visit La Biennale 2016? What did you think of the Spanish Pavilion?