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British Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Place: Venezia, Country: Italy
La Biennale di Venezia
Home Economics. Five new models for domestic life
Commissioned and organized by the British Council
Curators: Shumi Bose, Jack Self, Finn Williams
Artistic director: Jack Self
Exhibition Architect: Hesselbrand
Visual identitiy and design: OK-RM
Text: Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Photos: see bylines

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Days. Photo © Inexhibit 2016.

15th Venice Architecture Biennale | British Pavilion
Home Economics. Five new models for domestic life

Have you ever wondered how it would be to live in a plastic bubble?
The exhibition of the United Kingdom at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, entitled Home Economics, focuses on housing, a hot topic in Britain, and in many other western countries, due to the current crisis of housing. Indeed, in the last years, housing strategies have not adapted to the new social models and lifestyles consequent to profound changes in family structures, growing social inequality, mass migrations, an aging population, a labor market which forces people to frequently relocate, and the introduction of technologies which makes working time and leisure time more flexible, and confused.
The curators of Home Economics adopted an original approach to these problems and developed the theme by presenting five, reasonably provocative, models corresponding to different patterns of life and to five periods of time, and trying to define a strategy, based on the concept of sharing, alternative to property speculation.

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Hours. Photo Francesco Galli, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.

The five models proposed – full scale prototypes collaboratively developed by architects, artists, developers, fashion designers, and filmmakers – are all based on how long each model could be called “home”: HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS, YEARS, or DECADES.

The model HOURSOwn nothing, share everything, is a communal living room the inhabitants of various apartments share; in the middle of this space, a transparent wardrobe contains common objects, things that are infrequently used or that can be easily shared, like vacuum cleaners, power tools, and clothes.

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Hours. Photo Francesco Galli, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Hours. Photo © Inexhibit 2016.

DAYS. Home is where the WI-FI is is a provocative portable bubble-house designed for those who are constantly on the move around the world and need a personal retreat, with a WI-FI connection for their social media feeds or to shop online.

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Days. Photo Francesco Galli, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.

MONTHS. A house without housework is a minimal two-story housing module – with private spaces for sleeping, preparing food, and washing – to be “embedded” into a shared house. The space between the private modules is a communal living area (possibly the living space of the “HOURS” model?)

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Months. Photos © Inexhibit 2016.

YEARSSpace for living, not speculation is a “shell construction”, a basic structure with only an essential equipment, conceived to keep the purchase price (and your mortgage) to a minimum; a sort of blank canvas you are free to adapt to your needs.

Finally, the model DECADES. A room without functions questions the idea of a house made of predetermined functional spaces and proposes a neutral space, adaptable to future changes and to variable needs.

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British Pavilion, Home Economics, Decades. Photos © Inexhibit 2016.

 


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