"How are we going to live together?" is the question proposed by the Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, aiming to bring to the discussion the future and the challenges we will face, as well as the neglected role of the architects as civilized promoters and protectors of the contract of these spaces.
In 2020, the studio depA will be in charge of the Portuguese Official Representation, with the project In Conflict selected through a competition of the Directorate-General for the Arts. As a direct response to this challenge, the goal is to learn from processes characterized by conflict, questioning the problem of living, in its physical and social dimensions.
In Conflict challenges the public through two complementary moments - exhibition and debate. The first, showcased at the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin in Venice, gives news of the Portuguese architecture of the period of democracy, from seven processes marked by material destruction, social displacement or popular participation. A journey through 45 years of democracy, which explores problems, scales and modes of action reflected in Portuguese architecture.
To think about the role of architecture as an artistic, public, political and ethical discipline, the debates are part of this programme and take place in three different coordinates: Venice, at the Pavilion of Portugal; Lisbon, at the headquarters of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale; and Porto, at the Mira Forum. The three proposals chosen from the open call will be part of an international series of six debates taking place around a table, hoping to fulfill the project of a common future. In each city, between August and October, a couple of guests chosen by the curators will organize one of the debates, and the other will result from one of the submitted proposals selected from this call open until 28 June 2020. From this cycle composed of six acts in total, a second volume of the Portuguese Official Representation’s catalogue will be published with contributions from its participants.
In Venice, the debates will take place on 29 and 30 August, followed by Oporto on 18 and 19 September and finally in Lisbon on 17 and 18 October 2020. The invited curators of the opening debates, in each city, are the duos Fernanda Fragateiro and Jorge Carvalho, Ana Jara and António Brito Guterres and Anna Puigjaner and Moisés Puente.
To follow the official programme you can check the website.
The collective was created in Porto in 2009 and is coordinated by Carlos Azevedo, João Crisóstomo and Luís Sobral, who work together with a team of collaborators in the areas of architecture and social sciences. depA is focused on researching architectural practice through active listening on the idiosyncrasies of each project. There is a specific commitment to the dimension of time in the interventions: ranging from the interpretation of existing structures and architectural heritage to the open and progressive reintegration of spatial systems.
Alongside this depA seeks to keep its practices and investigations relevant by taking part in competitions, which are special moments for wide-ranging and compelling research. They have also developed projects of greater artistic orientation that challenge the approach to architectural techniques. They were invited to create the scenography for Fórum do Futuro in 2018 and, in the same year, the Lake Pavilion, built in Serralves park, as part of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial - Living Uncertainty, which was also selected to be exhibited at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, (Biennale di Venezia 2018). This Porto-based collective also worked with film producer Daniel Steegman and the artists Lais Myrrha and Dayana Lucas. In 2019, depA was awarded the tender for the curatorship of the Portuguese representation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, in 2020, with the In Conflict project.