The former KGB building (Auto Amateur Association), which is located in the middle of the Gldani neighbourhood, hosted the indoor exhibition of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial. Divided in two parts, the prominent brick building will display a curated exhibition “Buildings Are Not Enough”.
One part of the exhibition (curated by TAB co-founder Tinatin Gurgenidze and Dutch-Georgian artist and curator Sophia Tabatadze) under the heading “Impermanence” involved a wide range of Georgian and international artists including Onur Ceritoglu, Lado Darakhvelidze, Diana Lucas Drogan, Tako Robakidze, Daniel Spehr, Onno Dirker, Salome Jashi, Kote Jincharadze, David Kukhalashvili, Ceren Oykut, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Salome Sikharulidze, Mikheil Svanidze and Giorgi Tabatadze.
The exhibition outlined the unstable character of social conditions in the Georgian state, where war and political unrest have created a consciousness of unpredictability among citizens. Spatial installations, performances, artistic research, drawings, film and photography discuss these phenomena. Some of the participants presented work dealing with the specific local contexts of Tbilisi and the Gldani neighbourhood. Self-built garages, water fountain memorials, internally displaced people, the destruction of a WWII monument and urban grape cultivation are all visible expressions of these unstable and changing conditions.
The research exhibition brought together institutions and groups of researchers to discuss examples of urban transformations in different parts of the world.
Presenting on-going research projects at ETH Zurich, TU Vienna, TU Braunschweig Institute Of Sustainable Urbanism, Ilia State University and many more, the research exhibition offered insights into a variety of informal urban realities.
The exhibition featured contributions from the MENA region, including “The Durable Ephemeral” a research-based exhibition on the architecture of refugees and camps in Jordan, curated by Ayham Dalal, Kamel Dorai, Pauline Piraud-Fornet and Rand El Hajj Hassan with the support of the Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo). While Charlotte Malterre-Barthes outlineed the spatial persistence of agrarian property lines and irrigation canals as a shaping structure in informal settlements in Cairo.
The Turkish metropolis of Istanbul was discussed by Onur Ceritoglu, Gözde Sarlak and Nazli Tümerdem. Onur Ceritoglus´ research focuses on the role of scrap dealers. The scrap dealers, known as “Çıkmacılar” recycle and resell material harvested from destroyed buildings, and thus become an integral part of Istanbul’s informal urbanization processes. Gözde Sarlaks´ work deals with alternative food networks and conceptualizes urban gardens as spaces of “commoning”. Founder of Istanbul walkabouts Nazli Tümerdem uses critical walks as a method to discuss ecologically disastrous planning projects in northern Istanbul.
A master student project of Braunschweig University was dedicated to Tbilisi’s Saburtalo district and intended to find design updates for the socialist neighbourhoods’ urban issues. The design proposals of the students were presented during the exhibition. Another modernist neighbourhood featured in the exhibition is Fisksätra, a large-scale project in Nacka municipality, Stockholm. Swedish architecture office SECRETARY’s “This Space Between Us” is an installation inspired by the neighbourhood and provided a comparative case for Gldani. The University of Wuppertal presented their project “Potential Spaces”, which is an urban laboratory initiated in Wuppertals Arrenberg neighbourhood.
ETH Zurich MAS Urban Design
Christian Hanussek (MetroZones)
ISU TU Braunschweig
Diana Lucas Drogan
From Kyiv with Love
Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
School of Architecture Aristotle University of Thessaloniki