Kosovan architecture will make its debut at the Venice Biennale. Kosovo is now one of the 55 nations that have a presence in the largest and most prestigious architectural event in the world.
Perparim Rama, an architect and the founder/director of the London-based firm 4M, has been selected by Kosovo’s Ministry of Culture to curate the pavilion in Venice. The exhibition will run from August 29th through November 25th 2012. The country’s exhibit, The Filigree Maker, intends to present an emotional barometer related to Kosovan streets and buildings. The idea is to expose Kosovo’s present architectural state while generating future design based on emotional responses.
It’s easy! Browse through The Filigree Maker’s online gallery and click on a button beside a photo which reflects your emotional response.
You can vote for all or any of the images in the library, or you can upload an image of your own that represents one of the six emotions:happiness, sadness, freedom, entrapment, excitement and/or anger.
All of the information collected here will be used for the installation of the Kosovan Pavilion in theThe 13th International Architecture Exhibition Venice Biennale 2012. It may also be used in publications which will follow The Filigree Maker. Names of the voters may be presented at the Pavilion. Voting choices, however, will remain anonymous.
Kosovo - a new European country, established in 2008 after a long struggle for independence, is often imagined as a struggling and damaged place, full of broken and deteriorating buildings. While its population underwent monumental struggle for freedom, the architecture throughout the capital, however, largely influenced by Ottoman, Austro- Hungarian and Communist era designs, has mostly remained untouched by the war. Cities such as Prishtina and Prizren illustrate the distinctly different building types and landscapes that have defined these historical periods. Currently, through a slowly growing economy and returning wealth from the diaspora, a proliferation of new buildings have appeared throughout the country: a building boom which has covered the city with a sprawl of store fronts and apartment and office buildings, compelling us to think about the mash-up of styles and the future of Kosovan architecture, asking questions related to regulations, planning, creative effort, but most importantly, on a micro-scale, of how architecture affects Kosovan identity, emotions and in turn human conscious and subconscious behaviour on an individual basis.
Invited as one of four new countries to exhibit in the Venice Biennale, joining 54 other national participants at the prestigious event, the Kosovan pavilion, The Filigree Maker, represented by the Kosovon Ministry of Culture with its commissioner Bekim Ramku and curator Përparim Rama, provides an opportunity for people to think about how they feel about their surroundings. By briefly analysing one structure at a time, the Kosovan pavilion is an evolving collection of reactions to Kosovan architecture, past and present, implicitly asking questions such as: What lies ahead for Kosovan architecture? How is Kosovo’s design landscape evolving? How do Kosovans feel about the buildings that are in their cities? The Filigree Maker is an exhibition that seeks to answer these questions by asking Kosovans and people from all over the world how they feel about their design landscape. The idea is to exhibit Kosovo’s present architectural state while generating future design taking into account based on emotional responses. The exhibition encourages others to get involved in the creation of the pavilion by contributing architectural photos of where they live , work and raise their families.
The exhibition’s title, The Filigree Maker, comes from filigree, filigrani in Albanian, an ancient metal- making technique which starts by twisting threads of wire into ornamental pieces of jewellery and adornments worn by women and men alike. With a strong cultural presence, filigree was chosen as the strongest analogy for the pavilion. As a symbol of the past it can represent the reinvention of architecture connected to Kosovo’s people and it’s the heritage. The use of filigree is one of the key structures representing Kosovo in this year's pavilion and is used both as a medium and as the exhibition’s metaphor– for the creation of something meaningful and complex from something that initially seems insignificant.
The pavilion is interactive, using mostly web-based and social networking technologies through email and networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Biennale attendees, as well as anyone who has internet access, will be able to participate by selecting architectural and urban landscape images from the country on provided iPads, and linking them directly to a sentiment: happiness, sadness, entrapment, excitement, freedom, or anger. Visitors will be able to select an image from a preselected library or choose photographs that have been uploaded by other participants. They will also be able to simply add their own photos and link them to an emotion. Name and location are the only requested information, and each building’s image is voted on through the provided dialog box.
People from all over the world will have an opportunity to express their own emotional reactions through these photographs and share their vision for the future in terms of the country’s design landscape. Thus, images will take a journey through the interactive based platform where a “Common Ground” will be formed through the columns of filigree. A wire sculpture will be created from the results of the voting, connecting place, name and building to form a cloud above the visitors that shines down to the floor revealing the architecture preferred by the visitors. All votes will be reduced to the six base emotions, represented by different coloured lights for each: red for anger; blue for sadness; yellow for happiness; orange for excitement; green for freedom; and purple for entrapment. The top six most voted buildings for each emotion will be displayed on the floor screens with a different emotion for every hour. This makes the pavilion an emotional, cyclical space. All submissions will enrich the database generated by the pavilion and will provide insights into how the public reacts to architecture.
In the words of the country’s curator, Perparim Rama, “This exhibit intends to create a guide to current structure, creative design and future innovation.” With that in mind, voters and visitors to the exhibit can become agents of change, impacting the structure represented in the Kosovan Pavilion. We kindly ask you to visit www.kosovoinvenice.org/votes/ and link the images of architecture and urban landscapes to one of these emotions.