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Towards a Biennale Urbana 2016

Venezia, Italia Venice, Italy


Venezia 2014

ETH Zurich Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur
Professur für Kunst- und Architekturgeschichte Dr. Philip Ursprung

Summer School @ Swiss Pavilion, 'the School of the Tomorrow'
8-15 June 2014

towards a
2 0 1 6
A “Walking Out of Contemporary” expedition across Lido’s abandoned spaces.
Ideas, practices, strategies and tools to think the Biennale of the future

A Stalker Walking School (Giulia Fiocca and Lorenzo Romito) educational proposal
in the frame of Walking out of Contemporary – XXI century Grand Tour in search of a future for culture

together with

On/Laguna (Elisabetta Antonucci, Andrea Curtoni, Giulia Mazzorin, Amerigo Nutolo), Benjamin Lotan (Social Print Studio), Spazi Docili (Christian Costa),Whoami and Alt-g (Guido Iannuzzi)

ETH students: Arthur de Buren, Jonathan Egli, Corinne Räz, Nils Franzini, Lukas Loosli, Kathrin Röthlisberger, Géraldine Burger, Aurelia Müggler, Sonja Flury, Allegra Stucki, Michèle Brand, Jan Engelke, Michael Furrer.
ETH Prof. P. Ursprung Chair: Mathias Brühlmann, Berit Seidel. Fabio Don

and the partecipation of Suad Amiry, Virginio Bettini, Lucrezia Cippitelli, Lieven De Cauter, Anna Detheridge, Marco Favaro, Martin Josephy, Peter T. Lang, Alessandro Mulazzani, Michael Obrist, Lisa Parola, Pelin Tan.

Lucia Giuliano, Stefano Mirti
advisors: Yulia Besplemennova, Marco Lampugnani, Aurora Rapalino.
Relational Design Master students: Evelyn Leveghi, Diego Facta, Claudia Garrone, Francesco Fanetti

and activists and citizens organizations in Venice: Comitato Teatro Marinoni Bene Comune, Lido d’amare, LIPU sez. Venezia, Gruppo Vegan Venezia, Gruppo Skaters Venezia, Aquarium, Estuario Nostro, and Venetian Heritage Communities: Associazione Poveglia – Poveglia per Tutti, Forum Futuro Arsenale.


The summer school opens up the discussion on the Biennale di Venezia 2016, by initiating the process of designing a Biennale Urbana, using, as reference, the Lucius and Annemarie Burckhardt 1980-82 project for Kassel Documenta Urbana.

The Biennale Urbana is conceived as a startup to launch a process of reuse and reinvention of the enormous patrimony of abandoned spaces in Lido and in the all lagoon of Venice.

The architecture students of ETH together with Stalker Walking School and selected artists, critics, curators, educators and citizens associations will collaborate in the construction of the Biennale Urbana 2016 project with proposals, strategies and tools discussed through seminars and workshops.

As final result, a catalogue of sites, tools, strategies and proposals for the upcoming Biennale will be edited.

The Summer School will be held in collaboration with citizens association engaged in the preservation and reuse of public or ex public abandoned places.

The Biennale Urbana Project for the ETH Summer School at Swiss Pavillion is part of the “Walking out of Contemporary, XXI cent. Grand Tour in search of a future for culture”, a SWS open and nomadic educational program that is taking place in open collaboration with international schools as ETH Zurich, HfG Karlsruhe, Parsons at New School, New York and Whoami.

The Biennale Urbana will take place from June to September 2016.


Lido and the Lagoon are comprised of "Actual Territories", as Stalker called in 1995 the system of abandoned places of forgotten memories, marginal presents and spontaneous emerging of possible futures. A world to explore, inhabit and map aside the “Contemporary” one.

Simultaneous, decontextualized, instantaneous, exclusive events, seem to characterize the contemporary production of space, while in the “Actual Territories”, often forgotten, forbidden, refused and exploited spaces, through contextual, relational and processual practices, new creative communities are spontaneously experimenting strategies of coexistence, in search of more sustainable forms of culture, economy and democracy.

Those collaborative, social and artistic, practices are indicating possible strategies to re enact those spaces, re creating a possible "Common sphere,” a space that arises amidst the decline of the public sphere and the blind privatization, or better exploitation, of any resource, practice and space whatsoever.

The Biennale, the most important contemporary institution for the arts in Venice, and the "Actual Territories" could mirror one in the other, becoming reciprocal resources, text and context of a process of going back to imagine a future for Venice, beyond its contemporary cliché.


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il 8 June 2014



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