The GSD was invited to host an all-day event on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at the Venice Biennale. The program was centered around Ecological Urbanism, edited by Mohsen Mostafavi with Gareth Doherty and published by Lars Müller Publishers. A diverse group of speakers, including some of the many contributors to the volume, discussed issues raised by this groundbreaking publication.
See videos from the discussion below.
Opening Remarks by Mohsen Mostafavi
Participants: Florian Beigel, Raoul Bunschoten, Philip Christou, Gareth Doherty, Michael Meredith, Piet Oudolf, Ingeborg Rocker, Matthias Schuler, and Sissel Tolaas
Participants: Peter Carl, Olafur Eliasson, François Roche, Rem Koolhaas, Rahul Mehrotra, Farshid Moussavi, and Michael Sorkin in conversation with Stefano Boeri and Mohsen Mostafavi
Mohsen Mostafavi opens the discussion of cross-disciplinary thought on urbanization and ecology at the 2010 Venice Biennale, calling on Stefano Boeri and Rahul Mehrotra to comment on their understanding of the future of urbanism.
Continuing the cross-disciplinary exchange on ecology and urbanization at the 2010 Venice Biennale, Olafur Eliasson speaks about the role of public art in urban collaboration, François Roche discusses the anticipation of risk in ecological thinking, and Farshid Moussavi discusses the power of an ecological framework further than sustainability in architecture and design.
Peter Carl discusses Ecological Urbanism's role in the democratization of design, Michael Sorkin highlights his notion that "the solution to the city is the city," and Stefano Boeri talks about pragmatism in city building at the 2010 Venice Biennale.
Mohsen Mostafavi continues the interchange at the 2010 Venice Biennale between panelists, beginning with a question to Rem Koolhaas of the role of preservation and heritage in cities, with Michael Sorkin and Olafur Eliasson adding their comments.
François Roche, Farshid Moussavi, Rahul Mehrotra and Peter Carl wrap up the discussion at the 2010 Venice Biennale with further discussion about the role of architecture and buildings in the environment of the city.
Individual presenters take a moment out of their Venice Biennale to speak about their views on the future of cities. Participants include: Michael Sorkin, Olafur Eliasson, Rahul Mehrotra, Ben van Berkel, Helene Binet, Raoul Bunschoten and Sissel Tolaas
"Every time you photograph a space there is a history and often this history is connected to the city."
"Cities have to start becoming the main providers of energy; we cannot go on consuming energy in the way we have." "The problem of climate change becomes a cultural problem—it is a cultural problem—because we have to make people believe in changing their way of living."
Olafur Eliasson discusses the intersection between the individual and the collective identity, asking us, "Why don't we start thinking about the collective—or the plural—and the singular as one thing?"
"The temporal landscape holds some incredibly interesting lessons for us as planners, where margins of the city are expanded for unimagined uses in a kind of temporal way, which allows for economies, and allows celebration, and it allows the city to function beyond its imagined capacity."
"We have to rethink how we address the city, and we really have to find alternative ways of reconceptualizing the city itself. One of the ways is really through this framework of ecology, seeing how the concepts of ecology and urbanization can really come together in order to produce new conceptions of urban development."
Michael Sorkin speaks about the future of the city, based on his argument that "the solution to the city...is the city."
"The city is full of invisible information that goes through the nose into the system, and by understanding this information, fundamentally, we will slowly start to ask for different kinds of design and also what kind of architecture we are surrounded with."