14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
07 Jun - 23 Nov 2014
09 Oct 2014 until 11 Oct 2014
«Salon Suisse» 2: Build—The Reality of Cities
Salon 2: Build—The Reality of Cities
In no other nation is the divergence between a politicized public debate on space and a largely apolitical discourse amongst architects so apparent. The public debate has taken a decidedly antiurban turn, given the results of recent votes to curb immigration and growth. All over the world, urbanization, often spurred by neo-liberal policies, led to anti-urban sentiments, from the Tea Party in the US to rural communities in Japan. Yet, what are the concepts, models and visions that the planning disciplines can offer? Will the future consist of globalized city-states pitted against their increasingly disenchanted hinterlands? The suburbs are fault lines where rural self-images collide with urban lifestyles resulting in an uneasy mix of values prone to political manipulation.

Thursday, 9 October 2014 at 6pm
Night Four: Intentions, Rules and Politics
Kenneth Paul Tan, Thomas Held, Thomas Wagner, Moderation: Markus Schaefer

Urban space is a product of social interaction rather than merely of a planer’s design intent. Or, as David Harvey once wrote: “The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.” But how is this right exercised? Not only is Switzerland a direct democracy, but it also has a long liberal tradition aimed at equitable development, which only recently began to be eroded by liberalization. The spaces of politics and of economy have drifted apart through globalization. Singapore practices an active combination of both in a global context. When the city-state gained independence from Great Britain and was excluded from Malaysia, it had to excel and create relationships proactively to survive. Entrepreneurial urbanity by decree was the only way forward.

Friday, 10 October 2014 at 6pm
Night Five: Plans, Programs and Participation:
Yasuaki Onoda, Ariane Widmer, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Moderation: Hiromi Hosoya

Cities are defined by time as much as by space. Most urban areas are an hour in diameter. With faster transport cities extend in size. Car-based transport generates flat and sprawling cities; train lines produce necklaces of dense cores. Form follows infrastructure resulting in large, polycentric urban regions surpassing administrative boundaries. Planning organizes the effects of such large-scale dynamics on local spaces and mediates between diverse political entities. Yet, how can quality emerge and local identity be respected? Ariane Widmer has been involved since eight years in the planning of Lausanne-Ouest. Yasuaki Onoda is an architectural planner who collaborated on the Sendai Mediatheque. After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, he founded ArchiAid and uses the same skills to reconstruct places and communities.

Saturday, 11 October 2014 at 6pm
Night Six: Interactions, Commons and Public Space:
Jan Gehl, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Marc Angélil

Cities are more than ensembles of well crafted volumes. Their defining factor is not just built density, but also interaction intensity. Only when urban growth results in urban quality will it be accepted by its inhabitants. Modernity resulted in a loss of local identity and in a globalization of architectural styles and technologies. Yet, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow’s research shows that progress and local identity do not need to be mutually exclusive. Jan Gehl has documented how modern cities repel human interaction through a lack of human scale and an overabundance of infrastructure. He argues that we can build cities in a way that takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account. This has little to do with style or ideology but rather with how architects and urban designers think about people and their interactions.

Partner: Laufen Bathrooms AG

Sponsor: Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

Furniture sponsors: USM U. Schärer Söhne AG; Cassina

Media partners: Das MagazinSpecialist journals TEC21, Tracés, archi / www.espazium.chOpendata.chwerk, bauen + wohnen