Fertile Futures is the Official Portuguese Representation of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, curated by Andreia Garcia. Answering the call by Lesley Lokko, commissioner of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, it addresses the issue of freshwater scarcity, debating and putting forward strategies for the management, preservation and transformation of this natural resource. Based on seven distinct hydro-geographies of the Portuguese territory, Fertile Futures aims to contribute to a common, global discussion by expanding the ephemeral existence of a national representation in Venice and engaging new generations in developing solutions for reservoirs of the future. The kick-off of Fertile Futures takes place in Lisbon, at Palácio Sinel de Cordes, with the first Assembly of Thought. Seven architecture teams collaborating with specialists from other areas of knowledge are invited to discuss, problematise and design speculative solutions that seek to reverse the recent memory of overlapping and imposing models, interests and forms of action.The case studies exemplifying the anthropocentric action on water resources, natural and finite, are: the impact of Gigabateria in the Tâmega basin; the breach of convention in International Douro; mining in the Middle Tejo; the imposition of interests in the Alqueva reservoir; the anarchy in the irrigation perimeter of the Mira River; the overloading of the lagoons in the Sete Cidades Lagoon; and the risk of flooding in Madeira’s Ribeiras.
Saturday, 28 January Introduction by the curator, Andreia GarciaParticipants: Luca Astorri, Aurora Carapinha, Pedro Gadanho, João Mora Porteiro, Margarida WacoDebate moderated by the deputy curator Diogo Aguiar15h00 – 17h30Participants: Patty Anahory, Eglantina Monteiro, Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Ana Salgueiro Rodrigues, Andres LepikDebate moderated by the deputy curator Ana Neiva
10h20 – 13h30
Sunday, 29 JanuaryParticipants: Álvaro Domingues, Ana Tostões, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Marina Otero, Érica Castanheira, Francisco FerreiraDebate moderated by the curator Andreia Garcia
10h20 – 13h30
This Assembly of Thought aims to feed the reflection around freshwater as a vital element to human and non-human species, functioning as moments of reciprocal (re)learning based on the coexistence between diverse knowledge. The preliminary programme is composed of five assemblies of thought in total, as moments of speculative debate of awareness-raising and mediation open to the public that will take place in Lisbon, Venice, Braga, Faro and Porto Santo.
Learning from different contexts around the world that witness extreme climatic conditions, Fertile Futures advocates both in Portugal and in Venice architecture's contribution to redesign a decarbonised, decolonised and collaborative future. Organised and curated by the Directorate-General for the Arts, it aims to develop propositional models for a more sustainable and equitable tomorrow, combining practice, theory and pedagogy. The programme of this Representation brings together Project Workshops, Assemblies of Thought, an International Summer Seminar, an exhibition and a catalogue. The Venice Architecture Biennale, whose motto is The Laboratory of the Future, will be held between 20 May and 26 November 2023, with pre-opening: 18 and 19 May.