With beer, Latin food, loud music and salsa dancing, Urban Think Tank’s Venezuelan bar was of course the hottest venue at the 2012 Architecture Biennale, which closes this weekend. Architecture’s bad boys Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, together with co-curators Justin McGuirk and photographer Iwan Baan, won the Golden Lion for the Biennale’s best project with their portrait of Torre David, a ‘vertical slum’ in downtown Caracas. Read the article…
They call it ‘chairbombing’. Just the simple act of putting a chair on the sidewalk and sitting in it is a protest against a 2011 law that forbids people in San Francisco to sit or lie in public space. These chairs, and the initiative, came from Brooklyn-based design collective DoTank, which makes these chairs from old shipping pallets. In San Francisco they pinned a note to them, saying: ,,These are more than places to sit. They are a visual resistance to the privatization of public space.”
The Japanse pavilion at the Biennale brings tears to your eyes. No matter how brave the attempts by Toyo Ito and Sanaa to rebuild the hard-hit area, nothing will give the people whose houses were devastated by the tsunami their lives back.
But you still have to try.
Lord Norman Foster’s spectacular installation in the Arsenale is all about people; the buildings are the décor. At a heart-stopping pace images flash around the four walls, images of people sharing an experience. Those range from the ecstatic to the traumatic: a pilgrimage, a goal in the stadium, a charge by the riot police. Meanwhile the names of hundreds of architects from all ages and places – from Borromini to Bunshaft, from Sert to Fuller – swirl in white letters over the black floor.