Biennale Architettura 2020
17th International Architecture Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia

How will we live together?


Austria’s contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2020 will transform the historical pavilion located in the Giardini into a forum for actively addressing the changes to our built environment in the era of digital platforms. The focus of PLATFORM AUSTRIA is on public discussions with a great number of stakeholders, ranging from a programme of blogger residencies changing every week and talks hosted in the pavilion to an interactive online portal.

In Austria, the debate already started with a tour of the two curators, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, through the provinces. It was kicked off by two events that took place at the Architekturzentrum Wien and the University of Applied Arts Vienna on 25 and 26 November 2019, followed by a panel discussion at the vai Vorarlberger Architektur Institut on 9 December 2019. Further events are scheduled at the Architektur Haus Kärnten on 16 January 2020, at the Haus der Architektur Graz on 4 March 2020 and at the afo architekturforum oberösterreich on 1 April 2020.

Everyone is talking about the global success of digital platforms. Market leaders, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, spearheading changes whose consequences we are hardly able to assess now only constitute the tip of the iceberg. Based on data-processing technologies and smart networks, digital platforms promise customised solutions for a multitude of needs. Many aspects of society, such as education, healthcare, public administration as well as culture, consumption and work, can be shifted to virtual space. To date the built environment of cities has been the best organisational structure for fulfilling those tasks. This is also evidenced by the continuing growth of urban metropolises. Which role, however, will digital platforms play in future? Will they outstrip the cities? How will the two organisational models interact? Will a “platform urbanism” emerge in which virtual relations are more important than our life on the ground? Will real urban space break up into island-like zones in which only fragments of social exchanges will be left?

The success or failure of digital initiatives considerably depends on our active participation: no platforms without users. In the project PLATFORM AUSTRIA the two curators claim the related right to have a say in the definition of the framework for this development. The discussion forums initiated by the programme of the Austrian pavilion offer a platform providing room for exploring the numerous open issues and also for generating new ideas that shift the parameters of platform urbanism a bit.

Biennale Architettura 2020
17th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

Curator: Hashim Sarkis

29 August — 29 November 2020

Austrian Pavilion
#platformaustria #austrianpavilion

Peter Mörtenböck und Helge Mooshammer

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