How can architecture contribute to the ecological transition? The thirteenth edition of the festival “Biblioterapia: How to heal (or sicken) oneself with books”, organized by the Gambalunga Library of Rimini, is titled “The courage of knowledge, the power of imagination”. These themes were present on November 27 at a Sunday afternoon appointment entitled “Era ora” (“It's about time”) with Fosbury Architecture, a young Milanese design and research collective, at the Sala del Giudizio of the City Museum. The title of the session represents the systemic postponement of a process that should begin now – it’s time that architecture contributes to the ecological transition, through the creativity, transversality, and interdisciplinary nature that are intrinsic to its language.
It is precisely this innovative and experimental approach that led to Fosbury Architecture’s selection to lead the Italy Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2023. Curated by Lesley Lokko, the 18th International Architecture Exhibition will take place from May 20th to November 26th, 2023 (pre-opening May 18th and 19th) in the Gardens, the Arsenal, and various other locations in the city. As explained by the then-Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, “the selection of a young collective aligns perfectly with the theme of the 18th Biennale Architettura. Entitled 'The Laboratory of the Future', it aims to investigate sustainable ways of living for the future”. Fosbury Architecture’s scientific, curatorial and research activity both on a national and international scale focused on current issue – including environmental and social ones – makes it an ideal choice.
Faced with the devasting impact of climate change, we are all part of a race against time to save earth’s ecosystem. The construction industry plays a fundamental role in this fight, given that buildings are responsible for 36% percent of global energy consumption and 37% of CO2 emissions, as stated by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction.
The architect must now meet both the demands of today and tomorrow, always considering the uncertainty of the future. “Architects have a unique opportunity to show the world what we do best: put forward ambitious and creative ideas that help us imagine a more equitable and optimistic future in common”, said Lesley Lokko. This statement encapsulates the title of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition: “The Laboratory of the Future”. It is a courageous choice to use two often overused words like “laboratory” and “future” in the title of the event, but in this context the goal is to return to their original meaning.
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This creativity, this different approach which seems contradictory to the project, distinguishes the architects of Fosbury. Even their name demonstrates the innovation inherent in their work. They were inspired by the Olympic high jump champion Dick Fosbury, who rewrote the history of the high jump in 1968 with his famous “Fosbury flop”. This new way of jumping over the high bar, different from all techniques used up until that time, won him the Olympic gold medal and revolutionized the sport forever. Fosbury’s unconventional way of tackling obstacles inspired Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino and Claudia Mainardi, five young architects born in the late 1980s. The Fosbury group aims to explore new ways of doing architecture that are truly creative, thus abandoning habits and automatisms to realize a mix of experiences. This praxis places them halfway between creatives and exhibition curators; defining them only as architects would be reductive. The young architects of Fosbury are researchers of beauty.
“We will work with utmost commitment, aware of the importance of this position especially for the younger generations,” they declared upon receiving their appointment as curators of the 2023 Biennale Italy Pavilion. Consisting of 1200 m2 inside (and an additional 900 m2 outside), we can expect to engage both mind and body in a project that responds to the questions of our times with a high aesthetic value”.
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Please refer to the individual images in the gallery to look through the photo credits