The Palaver Tree at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

studio razavi architecture has been invited by the Global Art Affairs Foundation to exhibit at Time Space Existence, a collateral event of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

studio razavi architecture built a life size mock-up for a building structure currently under design for a London house. The installation introduces not only a layout for the exhibition but also a spatial experience for visitors as parabolic arches of varying height, create a series of vistas and paths to the works shown: a concrete townhouse in New York and a single family building in London.

The exhibition is titled The Palaver Tree as a reference to the ancestral African tradition of mediation, dialogue and decision making. An all-encompassing interaction process applied to architectural design and through which underlying emotions take center stage and help introduce a phenomenological bridge between « experts » and « non-experts ».

Work has been produced in collaboration with YouFeel.org, a not for profit organization which focuses on promoting new patterns of collaborative design in architecture and in the arts.

The Palaver Tree
Migration, physical or cultural, has come to define us all. In a global context of ever transforming processes, environments and economies, added layers of complexity force us to constantly adapt and seek new equilibrium.

Our primeval generational connections are diluted, at times lost as fewer and fewer people live where they were born. Grounding becomes central. Our cultural and ancestral markers face the evolution of a fast paced world, creating the need to seek refuge and find meaning within ourselves.

So that “battles are won” our claim is that people’s quality of life cannot affect the quality of the built environment, rather than the opposite. Frontal confrontation will not win this battle, bypassing challenges will. Perspectives are to be found, territories defined by shifting attention to our inner selves.

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Let us offer a different relationship to architecture. Let us transition from the notion of inhabitant to in-habited where the end user is considered knowledgeable enough and the architect becomes a facilitator. Contributing to re-building a social link that relies on affect rather than effect.

Let us implement the ancestral rite of the Palaver Tree to bring about a cultural referent that captures our modern customs and our buried senses. An interface to architecture which fosters new conditions to build habitat by calling on our emotions.

The Palaver Tree is the creative methodology which leads to a new focal point, a place where stories and identities are transmitted, a place of exchange and wellness. A place of conversations that leads to criteria beyond esthetics, beyond building and energy codes. A collection of stories to be told, of feelings and senses to be shared and desires brought to the surface; materialized as built space. The Palaver Tree as catalyst for an architecture from within.

The two projects shown at the 2016 Biennale are the outcome of this research, Reported from the Frontline

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