Updating Germany - Projects for a Better Future from September 17, 2009 - September 20, 2009 at EAstern CHina Normal University, Shanghai
Updating Germany – Project for a Better Future is the German contribution to the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2008. General commissioners Friedrich von Borries and Matthias Böttger of raumtaktik are presenting 20 projects from architects, designers, engineers and artists – steps both large and small toward a better future. The exhibit is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs.
“The world is in imbalance – economically, ecologically and socially. Architecture and urban development cannot save the world – but they can make a difference in their own way, and that’s what’s happening here”, said the general commissioners. “It’s about cutting back, insulating and optimising – even then, the conceptual and spatial possibilities aren’t completely exhausted. What interests us is what lies beyond the cutting edge of technology:: new concepts, mindsets, strategies that reshape behavioural patterns and living concepts step by step”. Research projects, experimental design and pilot schemes that point to the future, rather than existing architecture, are the focus of the exhibit. Entries have roots in architecture and urban development, but also in biotechnology, media, energy production, transport and commerce, nutrition research and other disciplines – new concepts, mindsets, strategies: updates to our world.
We know updates as they relate to computer programs: the gradual, practical improvement of the established, the replacement of the non-functional with the new. Sometimes fresh errors sneak their way in. Indeed, an update is a forked road of progress complete with dead ends and detours, but also with remarkable potential for change.
Architects Friedrich von Borries and Matthias Böttger work with an expanded architectural concept that encompasses the entire living environment including its economical and political interdependencies – particularly suited to the Architecture Biennial’s motto “Out There: Architecture Beyond Building”. They consider their contribution a call to critical thought: Updating Germany asks questions – for architects, urban developers, designers and visitors to the exhibit: “How do we want to live?”, “What can we do?” Possible answers will come at the exhibition, but also in in the catalogue “Updating Germany. 100 projects for a better future” via a multitude of projects representing various courses of action.