In the past century, the homogenization of global culture has seemingly become an inevitable piece of our universal narrative. At the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, however, curator and architect Rem Koolhaas aims to highlight each nation’s individual journey toward modernity through depictions of their diverse cultures.
The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is co-owned by Sweden, Finland, and Norway and features the works of Karl Henrik Nøstvik, Gunnar Hyll, Antti Hankkio, and other rarely exhibitioned architects. In an area virtually unstudied, the exhibition titled “FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models,” documents the integral role of Nordic architecture in aiding East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s following the liberation of Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia.
Nordic democracies and African countries in the 60s and 70s established a relationship surrounding their shared belief in progress. The exhibition is based on the concepts of building freedom through city planning, infrastructure, industry, education, health, and government.
Commissioned by the National Museum in Oslo and curated by the museum’s Director of Architecture, Dr. Nina Berre, the Nordic exhibition is the collaborative effort of the museum and Oslo-based architectural firm Space Group partner, Gro Bonesmos.