Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project "Platform Austria" to 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

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Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project "Platform Austria" to 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Austria Architecture News - Nov 30, 2020 - 13:32   9382 views

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

The Austrian Pavilion has revealed its digital project "Platform Austria" to 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale which was postponed from Saturday, May 22nd to Sunday, November 21st, 2021 due to Covid-19.

The new digital project Biennale Architettura Sneak Peek showcases a series of exciting sneak peeks in the form of interviews and short videos on the international contributions as well as on the main topic "How will we live together?" leading up to the opening of the Biennale Architettura on May 22, 2021.

Platform urbanism is one of the most controversial topics of discussion in the field of architecture. Digital platforms such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are increasingly permeating all areas of our lives and beginning to dissolve old orders and structures. Platform Austria will inquire into the development of our cities associated with the rise of platform urbanism and will transform the pavilion itself into a platform for active critical engagement with the potentials of the future and its architecture.

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

Equinix Data Centre and Start-Up Village Amsterdam

Until now the built form of cities has been regarded as the organisational structure best suited to the fulfilment of public tasks. This is witnessed not least by the ongoing growth of metropolitan cities. In their contribution to the Austrian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2021 the curators Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer will investigate the role digital platforms could play in the future. 

Will they assume a higher status than cities, and how will these two organisational models relate to one another? Are we seeing the rise of a “platform urbanism” for which virtual connections are more important than our lives in real space? Will the urban space dissolve into island-like zones in which only fragments of social exchange remain?.

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

Google Block Party, LA Venice Beach, 2017

Platforms are increasingly determining the character of our coexistence, our economy, our health and education systems and our culture. They are forming powerful monopolies whose most important resource is our participation. However, this participation is highly restricted, as many people are experiencing first hand in the current COVID-19 crisis.

With Platform Austria the two curators are reclaiming the right to co-determination of the basic conditions governing these developments. Due to current circumstances, the programme format will be adapted over the coming months to ensure access to this debate that is as broad and focussed as possible.

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

Johannes Kepler University Linz – LIT Open Innovation Center, Linz, 2020

In the course of this preparatory work the interconnection of the exhibition in the pavilion with the different online channels of Platform Austria will be made even more central.

The original exhibition concept relied heavily on the political power of physical presence. Platform Austria aimed to provide a locus of congregation. But it is precisely this possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed. 

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

Portrait Peter Mörtenböck & Helge Mooshammer

The adapted exhibition concept will utilise the power of images and signs in order to generate a communicative presence and to facilitate urgently required discussions. The goal of Platform Austria remains the same: to take full advantage of the unique forum provided by the Biennale Architettura and to search collaboratively for the architecture we would like to see in the future.

"Given that the form taken by platform urbanism ultimately concerns the fundamental question of what forms of society we aspire to, Platform Austria hopes to provide a significant response to the question posed by chief curator Hashim Sarkis: “How will we live together?”.

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project


"We welcome the announcement that the Biennale is to be postponed until 2021. This is an important strategic decision, one that will allow the Austrian contribution to be realised in a way that does justice to the status of the Biennale as the world’s most important architectural exhibition," said Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, curators of the Austrian contribution to the 17th International Architectural Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

"We hope that the planned changes will allow the exhibition to be experienced by a larger public under more agreeable conditions."

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project

Access Is The New Capital

Austrian Pavilion reveals its digital project


Project facts

Commissioner: Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria, Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport

Curators: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer Centre for Global Architecture

Curatorial assistant: Carmen Lael Hines, Centre for Global Architecture

Research team: Christian Frieß, Pieter de Cuyper, Lovro Koncar-Gamulin, Julius Bartz, Ruth Köchl, Centre for Global Architecture

Spatial concept: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer

Design: mostlikely sudden workshop 

Project and production management: Katharina Boesch, Viktoria Pontoni section.a,

Visual communication: Christof Nardin, Bueronardin 

Online-platform: Philipp Daun


Fiscal project: Georg Geyer

Management: Kanzlei Geyer & Geyer

Top image: PLATFORM AUSTRIA On-Stage Detail.

All images courtesy of Platform Austria.

> via Platform Austria