Venice Architecture Biennale: 137 architects protagonists in the Italian pavilion

Venice Architecture Biennale: 137 architects protagonists in the Italian pavilion
Venice Architecture Biennale: 137 architects protagonists in the Italian pavilion

Florence, May 27, 2021 – RebelArchitette, gives voice to the work of excellence of 137 professionals in the Italian Pavilion Resilient Communities – Comunità Resilienti della 17th Venice Architecture Biennale a tema “How will we live together?”.

The group of activists, now a non-profit association, already in 2018 had become the protagonist with the Vow Architects association of the international flashmob organized during the Venetian exhibition, now instead interprets one of the experiences of resilience inside the Italy pavilion. The curator, Alessandro Melis, wanted them alongside him as part of the curatorial team in the section called Decolonizing the built environment, including not only their research, but also the important project of “Action Aid Sisterhood in the neighborhood. Detoxing public space from patriarchy “, illustrated by Rita Petruccioli, and the Korean experience of May to Day by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, which commemorates the Democratization Movement of May 18, 1980 and shows the fundamental role of civil resistance against military dictatorship.

“Detoxing architecture from inequalities. A plural act”, detoxifying architecture from inequalities: a plural act ‘is a cutting-edge exhibition proposal that aims to detoxify the world of architecture from inequalities, injustices and prejudices.

It proposes a feminine and eco-feminist alternative through its open source tools aimed primarily at the new generations; “A project that aims to be a hymn to respect, justice and the need to diversify the panorama of and interpreters of architecture, in Italy as well as throughout the world”, says the group’s spokesperson Francesca Perani.

A photo booth at the entrance, characterized by an imposing “rebel lightning”, attracts those closest to social networks with slogans praising equality and inclusion, while a review of disarming data shows the economic and visibility gap existing between designers and designers.

Architecture in Italy, in fact, sees a growing and determined female presence that still struggles to reveal itself both at the media level and at the cultural, didactic and design level. “Not being able to identify with female role models is one of the reasons that push architects to abandon their professional paths” he underlines Elena Fabrizi responsible for coordinating content.

“This is why the entire exhibition, proposed in a fluid way, straddling the analogue and virtual world, is dedicated to the exhibition of 117 studios led by excellent Italian architects”. A sequence of names almost completely covers the central wall, while a short film made by Silvia Gin in rhythmic mode tells the projects.

# Rebelbiennale2021 this is the hashtag chosen for a multimedia exhibition conceived on three interchangeable supports to allow an increased, accessible and constantly evolving experience; in addition to the physical space, through a QR code you can access a web platform ( where you can learn more about the multitude of Italian architects identified and a digital version of the installation in a virtual tour format, created from the Dida-Lvr Laboratory of the Department of Architecture, University of Florence, with which to interact to discover new design worlds. A joint research and representation project started in May 2017 section of the online map Wawmap WomenArchitectsWorldMap ( which today traces the presence of 1000 experts from the design world at an international level. A survey carried out also through open calls and synergy with other associations, which does not propose exclusive selection formulas, but which, on the contrary, favors new interpretations of the profession still invisible to the general public. In a contemporary and subversive formula they express themselves like this architects, designers, visionaries, masons, influencers. Established and emerging architects, very young and experienced, each committed to different scales and types of design, united by a desire for innovation and research. Not only projects of great formal quality but new business experiences. Attention to social and climatic fragility. A message of extended collaboration, the result of sincere archisorellanza and sincere archifratellanza.

Among the established names we find: Sandy Attia, Sonia Calzoni, Alessandra Cianchetta, Ulla Hell, Junko Kirimoto, Elena Manferdini, Doriana Mandrelli Fuksas, Guendalina Salimei, Mara Servetto, Michaela Wolf; but there are also many emerging ones, including: Elena Bertinotti, Elisa Burnazzi, Beatrice Comelli, Alice Gardini, Antonella Mari, Verena Messner, Silvia Minutolo, Valentina Pontieri, Luana Rao. The installation is intended as an active, democratic tool, open to those who want to involve architects in events, collaborations and projects, and which will provide important stimuli to the new generations of designers, contaminating the current architectural landscape with its forms of resilience, in line to the “theme of the decolonization of the environment built by prejudices …

Characterized by the idea that diversity is the right tool to overcome the limits of the current system. ” Alessandro Melis, curator of the Italian Pavilion. Two events took place during the first days of the Biennale’s opening: on May 23, Architects of Resilience, created in synergy with the architect and historian of architecture Maria Luisa Palumbo and May 25 Convergence of forces: The Power of Collective Engagement in Architecture moderated by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (Parity Front / Harvard GSD) with Hanna Asefaw (Reduser Husleia) , Carina Guedes de Mendonça (Arquitetura na periferia), Nancy Naser El Din (activist architect), Francesca Perani (RebelArchitette), Amy Perkins (Parity Group / Assemble).

Collaboration instead of competition, richness in diversity. The new interactive database dedicated to Italian architects is a plural act for an inclusive firm of designers and planners. “We want to facilitate a narration of architecture that still has to be addressed. During our years of research we have met exceptional architects who are spreading urgent and disruptive messages in the construction and design industry: new approaches, priorities, opportunities, languages, materials in a profession in crisis and in change.

The data on equity in Italy are discouraging, an overcrowded panorama of professionals (155,000 architects, 27% of the European total) creates an attitude of obligatory and fierce competition. Men-only clubs are still winning on the public architectural scene (data available in the # timefor50 report) “, says the architect and curator Francesca Perani.

“We have to offer a better future to the younger generation of students and discourage them a masculine literature and male-dominated conferences to avoid a one-gender role model. We are confident that this platform can have a significant social and cultural impact thanks to an openly collaborative approach with other international associations ”, concludes Elena Fabrizi co-curator of the RebelArchitette project.

The promotion of female roles, the diffusion of the professional title Architect, the monitoring of male-dominated sector events, collaboration with other international networks and mentoring activities in the area are the main actions of the group aimed at both the new generations of architects and architects and all the bodies that deal with the promotion of Architecture and Design. In particular, in 4 years of research, the team highlighted 1000 experts in the world of design at an international level through a book and a dedicated platform and launched the # timefor50 # tempodiparità campaign aimed at a diversified and inclusive presence of speakers and speakers at public sector events.

The group aims 3 main objectives

  • Spreading models role of excellence for national and international women through the constantly updated collaborative map (1000 studios directed by architects) and the self-produced book “Architette = Women Architects Here we are!”. read to date by more than 20,000 users from all over the world.
  • Promote the importance of the application of gender language in the profession through the dissemination of the professional title Architect and of the stamp declined in the feminine.
  • Raise awareness through the international campaign and the report # timefor50 time of parity timeforequality which proposes an equal participation of architecture interpreters to all those involved in the organization of events and the promotion of architecture. Professional associations, private bodies, jury organizers, journalists, etc … The # timefor50 report published in November 2018 analyzes 411 events organized in Italy by professional associations and private entities in the years 2017-2019, and highlights the profound imbalance between presence of speakers and speakers at architecture events. It is freely available online at this link

The ultimate goal of the RebelArchitette non-profit project is that of promote a heterogeneous and fair professional landscape, in which even women designers, still too often far from the spotlight, are reference figures for the new generations, offering “female models of excellence operating in the world of architecture to young students, but also to juries, academics, exhibition organizers and journalists, to ensure a more inclusive and fairer vision of the profession “. The Collective strongly encourages a declared network and support attitude between Italian and international professionals through the organization of specific online and offline events and mentoring activities.

Maurizio Costanzo

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