Architecture Biennale 2021 - How will we live together?

17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice

From 22 May 2021 to 21 November 2021

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From Saturday 22 May, 2021 the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 finally opens its doors to the public after being postponed for a year. A message of hope, the desire to return to normality, to the events and traditions that make Venice unique.

The 17th International Architecture Biennale Exhibition in Venice is organized by Biennale di Venezia and curated by Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis, professor and dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as principal director of the Hashim Sarkis Studios.

In 2019 Hashim Sarkis presented for the first time the theme of the Biennale Architecture in Venice, 2021: 'How will we live together? With this open question, the Curator is asking the architects 'to imagine spaces in which we can live generously together, in a context of acute political divisions and growing economic inequalities'. Recontextualizing the question to the current situation, Sarkis then stated that 'the intensification of the climate crisis, massive population shifts, political instabilities around the world and growing racial, social and economic inequalities, have led us to this pandemic and have become even more relevant'.

Now let's see together how the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice is organized:

The Venice 2021 Architecture Exhibition features five thematic areas or 'scales' exhibiting the works of 112 participants from 46 countries, mainly Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Three of the five thematic 'scales' are set up at the Arsenale and two in the Central Pavilion: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders and As One Planet.

A section of the exhibition, entitled 'How will we play together?' is on display at the Forte Marghera in Mestre and, as the title clearly expresses, showcases an interesting project, conceived by 5 participating architects, dedicated to children’s play.

The Pavilions in the Giardini, the Arsenale and the historic center of Venice will be the stage for major projects by 61 National Participations including three countries present for the first time at the Venice Architecture Biennale: Granada, Iraq and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, supported and promoted by the Ministry of Culture, General Direction for Contemporary Creativity, is curated by Alessandro Melis.

There will also be numerous Collateral Events organized by international associations and institutions, which will be staged throughout Venice:

  • Air/Aria/Aire _Catalonia in Venice at the Cantieri Navali, Castello, 40 (calle Quintavalle)
  • 'Charlotte Perriand and I'. Converging designs by Frank Gehry and Charlotte Perriand at Espace Louis Vuitton, San Marco, 1353 (calle del Ridotto)
  • Connectivities: Living beyond the boundaries - Macao and the Greater Bay at Area Arsenale, Castello, 2126 / A (campo della Tana)
  • Hakka Earthen Houses on variation-Co-operative Living, Art and Migration Architecture in China at Forte Marghera, pavilion 30
  • Lianghekou at Palazzo Zen, Cannaregio, 4924 (Fondamenta Santa Caterina)
  • Mutualities at Spazio Ravà, San Polo, 1100 (riva del Vin)
  • Not Vital. SCARCH at the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
  • Primitive Migration from/to Taiwan at Palazzo delle Prigioni, Castello, 4209 (San Marco)
  • Redistribution: Land, People & Environment at Arsenale, Castello, 2126 (campo della Tana)
  • Revive the Spirit of Mosul UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe at Palazzo Zorzi, Castello, 4390
  • Salon Suisse 2021: Bodily Encounters at Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, Dorsoduro, 810 (Campo Sant 'Agnese)
  • Senza Terra / Pomerium at San Servolo Island
  • Skirting The Center: Svetlana Kana Radević on the Periphery of Postwar Architecture at Palazzo Malvasia Palumbo Fossati, San Marco, 2597
  • The Majlis at the Garden of the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
  • Tropicalia - Architecture, Materials, Innovative Systems at Squero Castello, Castello, 369 (salizada Streta)
  • Young European Architects at CA'ASI, Palazzo Santa Maria Nova, Cannaregio, 6024 (campiello Santa Maria Nova)
  • Young Talent Architecture Award 2020. Educating together at Palazzo Mora, Cannaregio, 3659 (Strada Nova)

It is also worth mentioning the many programs that have become a constant presence of the Venice Architecture Biennale:

  • Meetings on Architecture, the packed program of conversations that offers architects and scholars from all over the world the opportunity to answer the question How will we live together? in a context where the architect must respond to new challenges and needs due to the thousand variables of the world in which we live.
  • Biennale Sessions, a project that La Biennale di Venezia dedicates to institutions operating in training and research in the field of architecture, arts and related fields in order to offer facilities and assistance for three-day visits organized for groups of at least 50 people, between students and teachers
  • Educational, initiatives aimed at students of all levels, families, professionals, companies and individual visitors who expect active involvement through Guided Tours and Laboratory Activities.


The inauguration ceremony of the Architecture Biennale Venice 2021 and the award ceremony, during which the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to Lina Bo Bardi, will take place on Saturday 22 May, 2021.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff