Pavilion of Turkey to present Architecture As Measure at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

Curated by Neyran Turan and coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey will present Architecture as Measure at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia titled How Will We Live Together? and taking place from May 22 to November 21, 2021. Co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, one of the main venues of the Biennale.

The website of Architecture as Measure serves as the pavilion's main publication platform, and can be viewed here. The platform will continue to present content by invited contributors and the pavilion's curatorial team periodically over the course of 2021.

By focusing on the relationship between the quotidian and the planetary, Architecture as Measure suggests another route for architecture’s relationship to the world, in which it is more of an agent than a mere respondent.

Presented through an installation, a website and storytelling: Architecture as Measure

In light of the current climate crisis, what can architecture contribute towards a new planetary imagination of our contemporary environment beyond environmentalism and technological determinism? Rather than limiting the role of design simply to a solution to the problem of climate change, can we speculate on architecture as a measure through which the environment might be reimagined? Architecture as Measure positions climate change as a cultural and political idea that requires a renewed architectural environmental imagination.

Taking Neyran Turan’s recently published book Architecture as Measure (New York and Barcelona: ACTAR Publishers, 2020) as a theoretical preamble, the exhibition defines the planetary as the vast geo-temporal scales through which climate emergency accelerates. But instead of seeing the concept of planetary imagination purely as preserving nature, or as technological management or visualization, it is important, at this moment, for architecture to consider the potential of planetary imagination from within its inner workings. Accordingly, architecture needs to see the larger questions around planetary imagination and the everyday aspects of its own making as one and the same thing.

Presented through an installation, a website and storytelling, the Pavilion of Turkey focuses on the politics and nuances of the seemingly mundane aspects and sites of architectural construction from material extraction to supply chains, maintenance and care in Turkey and beyond.

The installation component of the exhibition comprises four dioramas, each focusing on specific sites of architecture. In addition to the installation, the exhibition extends to a website as its main publication platform. Presented through four different sections—Paperwork, Episodes, Conversations, and Essays—the website will publish content by invited contributors and the curatorial team periodically throughout 2021.

The Paperwork section of the website presents the exhibition’s main research content on the bureaucracy of architectural documents that enact, facilitate, and normalize the protocols of extraction, logistics, construction, and maintenance through material curated by the curatorial team along with invited contributions. Through drawings and storytelling, the Episodes section captures specific environmental controversies in a series of selected sites in Turkey while colliding the architectural and the planetary, the human and the more-than-human, the mythical and the everyday. The Conversations and the Essays sections present various invited contributions aligned with the themes of the exhibition.

Architecture as Measure is curated by Neyran Turan. Assistant curators are E. Ece Emanetoğlu, Melis Uğurlu, Betsy Clifton, and Samet Mor. The editorial assistant is Ian Erickson. Exhibition design is by NEMESTUDIO. Visual identity and graphic design are by Paleworks (Yağmur Ruzgar and Ozan Akkoyun).

About the Pavilion of Turkey at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

The Pavilion of Turkey is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, and realised with the contribution of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The Pavilion of Turkey has taken part in the International Architecture Exhibition since 2014, thanks to the acquisition of the permanent venue at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale on the initiation of the İKSV and with the support of 21 sponsors.