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Alessandro Petti wins Golden Lion at the Venice Architectural Biennale 2023

DAAR 'The Laboratory of the Future', 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Photo by Marco Zorzanello, Andrea Avezzù

Alessandro Petti, Professor in Architecture and Social justice and head of the course Decolonizing Architecture at the Royal Institute of Art, and Sandi Hilal, Architect, have been awarded the Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future: DAAR at la Biennale Architettura di Venezia: Architecture Exhibition – The Laboratory of the Future.

Alessandro Petti is particularly pleased as receiving the award points at a shift and a substantial acknowledgement for unconventional architectural practices. It furthermore encourages practitioners to explore new possibilities, take risks, and contribute to a diverse understanding of architecture and art.

– I hope this important award will help to legitimize experimental, non-orthodox and undisciplined forms or architectural and artistic practices. Architecture and art are not limited to the mere creation of buildings or objects. They encompass a wide range of practices and perspectives that push boundaries, challenge conventions, and explore new possibilities. Recognizing the value of these practices through awards and acknowledgment can play a significant role in shifting the traditional perception of architecture and art as purely functional or object-oriented disciplines and highlight their broader cultural, social, and experiential dimensions.

By embracing experimental and non-conventional approaches, we open up avenues for creativity, exploration, and critical thinking within the field. These practices often question established norms, challenge preconceived notions, and engage with complex social, cultural, and environmental issues. They offer opportunities to reimagine the built environment, challenge conventions, and spark dialogue about the relationship between architecture, art, and society.

This fall, Alessandro Petti runs a new course Decolonizing Architecture: Al Masha – Rural Commons at the Royal Institute of Art. The year-long, research-based program takes its fundamental pedagogical approach through the articulation of sites, concepts, and people.

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition is curated by Lesley Lokko and remains open until Sunday 26 November.