Cool Cities joined Professor Axel Müller-Schöll to the Architecture Biennale Venice 2016 this year. Teaching interior design and construction at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Müller-Schöll particularly loves visiting Venice in autumn, when the hordes of summer tourists subside, the sun appears more flat, and the weather is sometimes gray and foggy. “This is when Venice shows off its easygoing side. The city is especially charming this time of year, and it provides the perfect context for visiting the Biennale.”

The topic of this year’s event is “Reporting from the Front.” The Chilean architect and art director of the exhibition Alejandro Araneva wants people to see architecture as a solution, not as part of the problem. Consequentially, the exhibit touches on themes and challenges affecting our times, like the refugee crisis and mobility, sustainability, and humane living conditions in tight spaces in the ever-growing megatropolises of the world. “It was a challenge for visitors to relate to many of the topics discussed, as they have to engage with the problems to find solutions,” explains Müller-Schöll.

The Berlin-based firm “Something Fantastic” displayed exemplary work in cooperation with the German Museum of Architecture (DAM). With the suiting title of “Making Heimat, Germany Arrival Country,” they split the German pavilion, presenting the development of a city through unexpected viewpoints and the resulting conglomerate of problems and their respective solutions.

Some contributions fell short, however, developing convoluted solutions to problems that normal visitors couldn’t comprehend in such a limited amount of time.

The Biennale 2016 was not just impressive, but it provided an optimistic glimpse into the future, at least in regards to solutions. Events like this show that human creativity knows no boundaries. We can solve our problems if we set our minds to it, and we can free ourselves from habits to allow for new ideas to foster.

For more glimpses, have a look at the video, see buton on top:

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