The second Sharjah Triennial of Architecture emerges as a pioneering platform in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, showcasing groundbreaking perspectives on urbanism and architecture. Curated by Tosin Oshinowo, this year’s theme, ‘The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability’, reflects a celebration of resilience and innovation in places marked by scarcity. Oshinowo, drawing from her Lagos upbringing, emphasizes the synergy of practices across regions, underscoring themes of re-use, innovation, and collaboration.
Concrete Tent by DAAR (Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti)
Spanning across five diverse locations in Sharjah, including historical and contemporary sites, the Triennial offers a unique backdrop to the innovative works of renowned participants like Lesley Lokko, Rahul Mehrotra, and Olorunfemi Adewuyi. These locations, ranging from the Al Qasimiyah School to the old Al Jubail vegetable market, each tell a story of architectural evolution and cultural significance.
Key projects stand out for their profound impact and message. DAAR’s ‘Concrete Tent’ poignantly explores the tension between permanence and temporality, while Cave Bureau’s ‘Anthropocene Museum 9.0’ transforms the old Sharjah slaughterhouse into an immersive, thought-provoking journey, reflecting on consumerism. Co-founder Kabage Karanja remarks, “It highlights consumerism. We are products of consumerism.”
Anthropocene Museum 9.0 – Sharjah’s Old Slaughter-house Tour by Cave Bureau
The theme challenges architects and designers to rethink the conventional approach to modernity, blending tradition with a keen awareness of contextual and environmental dynamics. This is evident in the commissioning of full-scale architectural works, adding an immersive dimension to the exhibition. Through these displays, the 29 architects and designers explore the nuances of context, tradition, and the fluid nature of modernity.
Eta’Dan by Hive Earth
The Sharjah Triennial not only showcases architectural innovation but also advocates for a paradigm shift – a return to origin as progressive evolution. It celebrates communities that have long harmonized with traditional design practices, often overlooked in the modernist narrative. This exhibition of architects, designers, artists, planners, and researchers delves into how these systematic omissions can be addressed, paving the way for a future that embraces adaptability and sustainability.
Óré ì Sé Àgbon by Bubu Ogisi
The Triennial welcomes visitors until 10 March 2024, offering a unique exploration into the evolving landscape of architecture and design. It stands as a testament to the power of adaptability and the enduring beauty of impermanence in shaping our built environments.