Pavilion of the United Kingdom (Giardini)
Home Economics will explore the future of the British family home. The exhibition wants to answer the question how architecture can respond to the changing ways that people live today. Social and technological changes are collapsing the patterns of domestic life, but the design of the home hasn’t caught up. Can the house ever escape its economic status as an asset? Should our homes still be considered private spaces? How do new types of families and households produce new spatial needs? What are the models of ownership, finance and work that make these conditions possible?
The exhibition unfolds through a series of five architectural propositions, designed around incremental amounts of time: hours, days, months, years and decades. Each participant has been asked to challenge the status quo and propose new futures for the British home, taking into account the conditions imposed on domestic life by varying periods of occupancy.
The British Pavilion will be converted into a series of full scale domestic interiors, allowing visitors to inhabit an idea rather than reading the specialist instruments of the architectural discipline, such as plans or scale drawings. A multi-disciplinary team of architects, artists, designers and developers will produce these immersive 1:1 environments. Each of the five rooms of the pavilion will be dedicated to one of the specific time frames.
“Home Economics is an inspiring attempt to step outside of the confines of the housing debate, and to question the brief. Here, the curators have written a new brief for architects, based on a far-sighted view of what the home is and will become. They may not yet have all the solutions, but I’m convinced that their approach will shift the role architects can play in relation to the housing crisis.”
Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council
More information can be found on the website of the British Council. Curators Jack Self and Shumi Bose have also explored the moral, political and economic ramifications of property and ownership in their book ‘Real Estates: Life without Debt’.
Review by The Venice Insider
The United Kingdom has one of the more stately buildings in Giardini. When I saw that the front door was shifted 1 meter outside its frame, it immediately aroused my hopes. I had been intrigued by the concept of ‘Home Economics’, but I didn’t really know what to expect. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grasp the interior layout and the underlying concept. Each room has a different type of bed, a toilet and a few other elements, which correspond to the different time frames you spend in it. The research fellows were sitting and lying down across all rooms and beds, but I have no clue if this was intentional or not. I have read other reviews which put ‘Home Economics’ in their top list, so this is my personal interpretation. I suggest you give it a try to find out for yourself how you feel about this exhibition.
Katia – The Venice Insider
Click here to return to the overview of the other pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 or read my post What to expect from the 2016 Architecture Biennale.
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