At the 17th Architecture Biennale, the British exhibition is called The Garden of Privatised Delights and raises the question of who owns and uses of public space.
This Garden of Privatised Delights is of course a nod to the Garden of Earthly Delights , the masterpiece of Hieronymus Bosch. The exhibition “reimagines how to make public space more inclusive, highlighting the rapid increase in privatised public space, with an alternative and inspiring vision that invites public and private stakeholders to work together to create better-designed spaces for all.“
Through six immersive spaces, the two curators Manijeh Vergese and Madeleine Kessler wanted to illustrate the fact that “the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of accessible public spaces and has thrown into sharper focus the need to tackle inequality issues.
Decline of social places
To remedy this loss of accessibility to public spaces, both designers propose to work together, in particular by promoting consultation with citizens, which should guarantee public spaces that are genuinely accessible to all. To do this, they ask questions related to emblematic places: are public toilets still really public? Could the pub on the corner of the street become more than just a place to have a drink and become a multi-purpose centre dedicated to civic actions? Can the high street of a city, today mainly dedicated to shops, once again become a place of diversified social exchanges? How to create spaces intended for teenagers and designed by them? etc.
The debate initiated by the exhibition is fascinating and topical: who can own, design, use and access public spaces? And, above all, how can we make them more welcoming to each and every one of us?
The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, whose general theme is “How will we live together? takes place from May 22 to November 22, 2021.