Venice Architecture Biennale – exhibition on sustainability

The Venice Architecture Biennale Kicks

The 17th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition started, theme this year is linked to sustainability, “How are we going to live together?”, with more than 100 exhibitors from 46 countries. Located in an Italian pavilion, one of the exhibitions that will steal attention is called “Plasticity”, portraying the problem of plastic pollution being a collaboration between Parley for the Oceans and Italian architect Niccolo Casas. This architect created a 3D printed sculpture, entirely from plastic collected from the ocean of remote and literal islands.

Casas says that every year 400 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide and one estimate shows that only about 10% is actually recycled. This plastic life cycle poses serious risks to human health and irreversible effects on the climate, fauna and flora.

The hope is that the sculpture raises people’s awareness of ocean pollution. Photo: Tommaso Biondo

The architect was inspired by the book “Our House is on fire”, written by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. In one of the chapters, Thunberg is criticized for protesting for not wanting to go to school, to which she asks why he should continue to study for a future if there will soon be no future, as no one does anything to save him. Niccolo Casas kept these words stuck in his mind and also said that if there may not be architecture in the future, why should an architect think about architecture.

It’s a revitalizing new vision, as most architecture biennials feature galleries of plans and small-scale models. This recycled plastic sculpture is gigantic, similar to a cold iceberg, drawing attention to the way in which architects are able to transform recycled plastic into a 3D printed structure.

Casas mentions that they need renewed empathy for all living creatures and that they need to raise awareness about the ethical environmental impact of people’s daily actions.

It also explains that architecture is undergoing a radical environmental renovation, where sustainability is a central concern but not enough. And that, as architects, they must take advantage of their creativity and multi-sector experience in the search for new ecologically correct manufacturing models, having to be environmentally careful.

A portrait of architect Niccolo Casas. Photo: Luca Piras

As Cyrill Gutsch, the founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans, explains, these types of projects draw attention to the pollution of the oceans, namely the large plastic island in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is being called “the eighth continent”.

Keywords: art, sustainability, architecture, Venice Architecture Biennal

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