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Hashim Sarkis will be the curator of the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale

Hashim-Sarkis-Paolo-Baratta-Photo-Jacopo-Salvi-Courtesy-La-Biennale-di-Venezia

The board of La Biennale di Venezia has announced that Hashim Sarkis will be the curator of the next International Architecture Exhibition. Titled “How will we live together?”, the 2020 architecture biennale will take place in Venice from May 23th through November 29th 2020.

cover image: Hashim Sarkis and Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia.
Photo Jacopo Salvi, courtesy of La biennale di Venezia

Hashim Sarkis
Sarkis is the principal architect of Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS), established in 1998 with offices in Boston and Beirut, and Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2015.
He was member of the international jury of Biennale Architettura 2016, and participated with his firm in the Pavilion of the United States (Biennale Architettura 2014) and Albania (Biennale Architettura 2010).
Sarkis earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture and a PhD in Architecture from Harvard University.  The architectural and urban projects of HSS include affordable housing, houses, parks, institutional buildings, urban design, and town planning. HSS has received several awards for its projects in Lebanon, including for the Housing of the Fishermen of Tyre, Byblos Town Hall, and the Courtower Houses, on the coast of Aamchit.

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Hashim Sarkis, Byblos Town Hall, 2016, Byblos, Lebanon, courtesy of Hashim Sarkis studios

Hashim Sarkis titled the 17th International Architecture Exhibition “How will we live together?”and explained his decision as follows:
“We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together: together as human beings who, despite our increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space; together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation; together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion and spatial identity; together across political borders to imagine new geographies of association; and together as a planet facing crises that require global action for us to continue living at all.
The architects invited to participate in Biennale Architettura 2020 are encouraged to engage other professions and constituencies—artists, builders, and craftspeople, but also politicians, journalists, social scientists, and everyday citizens. In effect, Biennale Architettura 2020 asserts the overlooked role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.
In parallel, Biennale Architettura 2020 also maintains that it is in its material, spatial, and cultural specificity that architecture inspires the ways we live together. In that respect, we ask the participants to highlight those aspects of the main theme that are uniquely architectural.
The curators of the national participations are called upon to address one or more of the sub-themes of the Exhibition. The need for more inclusive social housing and equipment or for more connective urban and territorial tissue remains as pressing in emerging economies as in advanced ones.
The year 2020 has often been referred to as a milestone on the path to a better future.
Many nations and cities have devised a ‘Vision 2020.’ The year is upon us.
We look to the collective architectural imagination to meet this momentous occasion with creativity and courage.”

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