Reconceptualizing Urban Housing Exhibition: Women-led Practices at the Venice Biennale

The global housing crisis has created an urgent need for housing worldwide, especially in urban centers where 80% of the world’s population is housed. In the race to build more homes faster, many important factors are being overlooked including community, identity, and liveability. From city to city, the context differs dramatically, but the problem is universal: How can urban collective housing be more liveable? How do we ensure that the design of housing will enhance inhabitants’ well-being and quality of life?

Mecanoo - Villa Industria Silos
Photo credit: Mecanoo architecten
Mecanoo – Villa Industria Silos
Photo credit: Mecanoo architecten

Reconceptualizing Urban Housing will be exhibited as part of the 6th edition of Time Space Existence, organized by the European Cultural Centre (ECC) during the Venice Biennale from May 20th to November 26th2023. The exhibition brings together a group of women-led practices from around the globe with unique perspectives on collective housing, primarily in or near urban areas. The diverse range of projects exhibited will not only feature a variety of approaches in Europe and North America, but also in developing nations such as Uganda, Malaysia, and Mexico, exploring diversity in building typology, climate, and economic and cultural factors, while embodying a shared commitment to social and environmental sustainability.

Meyer-Grohbruegge - Kurfurstenstrasse
Photo credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
Meyer-Grohbruegge – Kurfurstenstrasse
Photo credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The selected projects showcase new thinking around housing – they take a bold approach to liveability, exploring the balance of communal and private, design for social connection, adaptability, identity and agency, optimization of natural light and ventilation, integration of landscaping and urban farming, and access to outdoor spaces, while remaining unique to each local context and demographic. Together, and in different ways, they redefine what collective housing can be and how it can support liveability for its inhabitants.