Although the sixth Tallinn Architecture Biennale was predictably pushed from 2021 to 2022 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the curator search went on as planned. That is, until today: The Estonian Centre for Architecture announced that it had selected architects Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou to head the festival, with Ivan Sergejev serving as co-curator.
The 2022 Biennale’s theme will be “Edible,” as the works will attempt to translate natural metabolisms and rhythms to the built environment and cities. The theme can be taken both literally (referring to food growing systems and self-sufficiency), as well as figuratively (the consummation of raw materials needed to construct shelters, and how to reach a closed-loop material lifecycle). As the announcement press release explains:
“The main objective of the proposed curatorial exhibition is to revise and reimagine the logic of circular economy and the ways in which it migrates to the fields of design, architecture and the production of urban environments. The curators aim to empower architects, planners and environmental practitioners to develop a proactive stance on architecture’s expressive capacity to perform circular operations, to produce resources – generate food and energy- as well as to decompose itself.”
This sort of theme is fertile ground for Kallipoliti, currently an assistant professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union in New York. Her 2018 book, The Architecture of Closed Worlds; or, What Is the Power of Shit? dove into the messy history of self-sustaining structures and their failures, and in 2016, Kallipoliti curated the similarly-themed Closed Worlds exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Manhattan.
Areti Markopoulou is currently the academic director of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in Barcelona and leads the Advanced Architecture Group, an interdisciplinary research collective at the IAAC. “Big & small data, responsiveness, smart energy systems, artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced materials, and additive manufacturing are few of the key topics developed by the AAG and applied to novel visions and solutions for the architectural and urban fabric,” according to the group’s description of its work.
Ivan Sergejev is an architect and local co-curator who will be working with the team to realize the show, and according to the Estonian Centre for Architecture, currently serves as the head of sustainable construction at the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
The 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale will run from the first week of September 2022 to October of 2022.