Of the many prominent works featured in the 2021 Venice Biennale, one especially worth visiting is that of leading Taiwanese architecture firm Chain10. The sustainability-focused design-research firm has made its Biennale debut exhibiting methods in which design might reflect nature through the creation of organic spaces that naturally observe and respond to the passage of time. Responding to the Biennale’s theme of “How Will We Live Together?”, Chain10’s work on display addresses the problem of “lifeless structures” and proposes examples of how to design buildings that live, breathe, and adapt, similar to that of the nature of humans and further preserving the existence of humanity.
Keng-Fu Lo, founder and managing director of Chain10, told AN that the importance of creating fluidity between architecture and the natural world rests in integrating the external and internal environment. “The unification”, Lo explained, “provides the inhabitants of the space with the feeling of being enveloped in something larger.” In the nature of observance and response, the exhibit features a centralized skeletal orb surrounded by four of Chain10’s projects and appropriate didactics: The Commercial KCI Group Headquarters Offices in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; restaurant Green Isle in Kaohsiung, the Comfort in Context House, and Green Place Community Clubhouse in Tainan, Taiwan. Each maintains a strong visual and experiential relationship between light, time, and the intermingling of peoples as one moves through the structure.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, dubbed the Time Light Object, holds various cube shapes at its core within a round external frame. The object in motion, as an analogy to building elements that connect interior to exterior, casts various shadows in the surrounding area to remind the viewer of the existence of objects in space and how these objects react to the passage of time.
In conversation with AN, Lo mentioned that:
“The passage of time in many ways represents the development of interpersonal relationships. As time progresses, our relationships can deepen or shift and change, and with that, the ways in which we interact and coexist must evolve through the spaces that surround us. Exploring how time affects those spaces, and in turn those relationships, spoke to me as an interesting way to examine ‘How Will We Live Together?’ And of course, the diversity of projects, from residences to community spaces, illuminate the different ways of coming together as humans.”
The reflection of human life, and the diversity thereof, is integral to the ways in which we experience architecture on a day-to-day basis. It is thus fitting for Chain10 to incorporate organic principles into spaces in order to create a more inviting and fulfilling environment. As Lo stated, “It is these actions that preserve human existence.”
The Venice Biennale Architettura 2021, “How Will We Live Together?” is currently running through November 21. The Chain10 exhibition is located in Space H on the second floor of the Palazzo Bembo.