More from the Biennale

Guest Blogger Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Architectural Association

Project Director, Beyond Entropy - When Energy Becomes Form

I created Beyond Entropy, When Energy Becomes Form, a two year research programme run by the Architectural Association, to provide architects with the opportunity to develop new thinking on energy with artists and scientists. Engaging in radical thinking about energy issues and sustainability with people in disciplines outside construction is not an opportunity architects often get.  Granted, artists aren’t much good at helping you achieve a new type of solar panel, but they are great at reframing a problem to push thinking beyond the technical issues.

Eight teams, each including an artist, scientist and architect, are exploring different types of energy in relation to space and form. Here are two examples:

  • The electric energy group is mapping all the locations where the electric energy used in Venice is created. This map will reveal the hidden human chain involved in its creation.  From the coalfields of Russia and Columbia to helping electricity flow across borders to Venice, humans form faceless links in the energy chain, unknown to each other and the communities to which they bring light.   Through the project, these people will meet, for the first time, in Venice to capture the human diversity and impact of energy transportation.
  • The kinetic energy group is developing a time-machine based on ‘Pataphysics’ theorised by  the 19th century French writer Alfred Jarry.  The group is recreating his device to explore the relationship between space and time and how to manipulate the perception of space with constantly moving form.

Prototypes and thinking from the past 12 months are currently on show as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale and can be viewed here.

We also held an energy symposium in Venice during the opening weekend of the Biennale. Speakers included Hans Ulrich Obrist, Charles Jencks, and Ricky Burdett. The speakers’ presentation will be on our website shortly.

We’re now looking to involve as many architects as possible in developing the projects. The year ahead is hugely exciting. Final works will be presented at the Venice Art Biennale next year. Who knows: maybe in the future, an artist might be the first phone call when you’re facing an energy. Please join the debate.

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