The Office for a Non-Precarious Future
Young architects are educated in the spirit of the profession’s calling, the impetus to transform the world through a single act of a creative genius. Architecture’s daily business is subject to a strictly rational logic of economic growth and the ever-growing production of built substance. However, architects often lack the agency and the tools to instigate real change in society and ecology. In this sense, architecture becomes a mere labour, an endeavour to secure one’s own living in the material sense. How can we change the world if we can’t provide decent working conditions for ourselves?
The Office for a Non-Precarious Future, set in the Arsenale exhibition space and Giardini, metaphorically takes on the form of a Factory and a Laboratory. The Factory, the dystopian environment, reflects the status quo of the profession based on existing research and data in relation to young practitioners' difficult living conditions. The Factory’s opposite, the Laboratory, denotes a space that welcomes experimentation and work-in-progress, enables cooperation, conversation and actual work.
The Laboratory provides information on problematic areas in relation to the precarity of the architecture profession: toxic working conditions; diversity, with an emphasis on gender; the notion of authorship; and economy and architecture.
It suggests tools and solutions, and highlights best-practice examples of individual (discussions/thinkers), collective (collectives, agencies and platforms) and systemic (e.g. legal instruments or teaching) approaches. Visitors are invited to speculate on the non-precarious future of the architecture practice.
A residency programme is launched as a work-in-progress element of the exhibition. The purpose of the residencies is to enable young artists to reflect on the often neglected topic of precarious working conditions within the platform of the Biennale, through which they will receive international feedback. The residents work in the Laboratory to conceive a vision or a code for a better future for the architecture profession.
The Czech Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, organized and supervised by the National Gallery Prague, was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and by the European Union (Next Generation EU).
More about the Czech pavilion: https://labiennale.ngprague.cz/
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