How will we live together?


Nipa huts, La Union, Philippines. Photo by Jeff Nafura on Unsplash


“Some people say there is a God; others say there is no God; the truth probably lies somewhere in between”
– W. B. Yeats

The Venice Architecture Biennale, which began last month and runs to November, has an inspiring theme: How will we live together?


The exhibition features examples from other times in different climes.

For instance, the Finns display fabricated wood homes from the World War II refugee crisis. The Americans show timber-frame houses for a nation that was on the move out west. The Filipinos offer a design built on a nipa hut, a lightweight construction that can be easily carried. A Colombian architect built a pop-up communal gathering place, enshrined as the focus of a temporary nomadic village.

These are all interesting ideas. More to the point, they worked somewhere, at some point of time.

Another concept that may, one day, feature in architectural shows is the mostly wooden office building that’s being built in Berlin even as we speak. Meant for German lawmakers, it’s designed to capture carbon dioxide.

I suppose the only way we can live together is if the “we” is expanded to include the natural world around us.