An exhibition, research residency and conference series curated by Joseph Grima and Space Caviar
V–A–C Zattere, Venice
March 2021 – January 2022
Non-Extractive Architecture will transform Palazzo delle Zattere into a live research platform focused on rethinking the balance between the built and natural environments, the role of technology and politics in future material economies, and the responsibility of the architect as an agent of transformation.
The project sets out to examine — and redefine — the public’s expectations of the architect and architects’ expectations of themselves. What if architecture were understood first and foremost as a form of husbandry of the built and natural environments? What if we redesigned our economies to favour integration, circularity durability and social resilience through the towns and cities we build? What if the material supply chains behind environments we inhabit were visible and participatory rather than invisible and often exploitative? Non-Extractive Architecture will engage individuals within and outside the field of architecture to create an open platform through which the current role of architecture can be debated, and new paths can be defined to leverage its potential as a positive force in shaping the future of the landscape.
Space Caviar is an architecture and research studio operating at the intersection of design, technology, politics and the public realm. Founded in 2013 by Joseph Grima and Tamar Shafrir, the office uses built work, exhibitions, publishing, writing and film to investigate and document contemporary modes of habitation and the spatialisation of social and political practice.
Space Caviar’s work has been shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Biennale Interieur, Vitra Design Museum and Nilufar Gallery, among others.
The public programme brings together designers, material specialists, economists and theorists all working on the themes of Non-Extractive Architecture. This programming aims to activate the palazzo, online platform and workshop space through a broadcasting station and publishing initiative.
Sign up to receive the Non-Extractive Architecture newsletter here
The blog shares the events, research, conversations and ongoing activity of the residency programme at V-A-C Zattere. Follow for updates from our ten residents as the year-long exhibition expands and grows.
The software developed by F451 (Domitille Debret and Quentin Creuzet) automates the translation of the research conducted in Palazzo delle Zattere into exhibition form, constructing in the process a vocabulary around the concept of non-extractive architecture. The content developed by the research team will be organised and rendered visually by this software, and then printed and hung on the walls of V-A-C Zattere throughout the course of the project.
An online archive will collect the expanding and ongoing research produced as part of Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion. As the research fills the walls of Palazzo delle Zattere with content, an online archive of this work will grow in parallel. We invite you to join us by contributing to this growing archive of references, case studies, materials and landscapes towards defining non-extractive architecture. The exhibition is intended to be downloadable, printed and widely accessible.
Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion Vol.1
This illustrated reference handbook sets out to find a new approach to architecture, one based on long-term thinking, material resources and their subsequent landscapes, and the integration of community values into the construction industry. Through a series of essays by architects, geographers, historians, economists, urbanists, and philosophers, Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion Vol.1 explores whether an alternative paradigm in design is possible, and what values it might be founded on.
Edited by Space Caviar with an introduction by Joseph Grima and contributions by Dele Adeyemo, Benjamin Bratton, Stephanie Carlisle, Emanuele Coccia, Keller Easterling, Swarnabh Ghosh, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Phineas Harper, Elsa Hoover, Jane Hutton, Interiors Agency, Elisa Iturbe, Luke Jones, Chiara Di Leone, Armin Linke, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Nicholas Pevzner, Maria Smith and Mark Wigley.
Published by V–A–C and Sternberg Press. 2021
You can buy the book here
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Non-Extractive Architecture Research Platform V–A–C Zattere, Venice
Application deadline: 18 June 2021
Location: V–A–C Zattere, Venice, Italy
Successful candidates will be informed by 2 July 2021
Non-Extractive Architecture is a year-long project conceived and curated by Joseph Grima with design research studio Space Caviar, examining the material, social, economic and environmental implications of architecture as a practice in the 21st century. Timed to coincide with the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, the project sets out to examine — and redefine — the public’s expectations of the architect and architects’ expectations of themselves. Non-Extractive Architecture engages individuals within and outside the field of architecture to create an open platform through which the current role of design practice can be debated, and new paths can be defined to leverage its potential as a positive force in shaping the future of the landscape, both urban and rural.
Featuring an exhibition, a series of public conferences and events, research labs, a design studio and materials workshop — all centred around a residency programme comprising 5 individuals working in close collaboration with Space Caviar - Non-Extractive Architecture has transformed V–A–C Zattere into a live research platform focused on rethinking the balance between built and natural environments, the role of technology and politics in achieving such a balance and the responsibility of the architect as an agent of transformation.V–A–C Foundation welcomes applications from highly motivated and talented recent graduates and professionals who have an interest in applied research investigating these themes.
What: Participating researchers will work both individually and as a team — in close collaboration with Space Caviar — to research and speculatively outline an approach to the designed environment that can be defined as “non-extractive”.
This will involve:
• Developing case studies investigating materials, building techniques and economic models that open up new possibilities in the design process.
• Participating in the design and curation of an exhibition that will capture and communicate the collected knowledge to the public
• Testing materials, techniques and building prototypes in the lab
• Contributing to and helping to shape a publication recording the knowledge, techniques and design manifesto developed throughout the process
• Participating in the lecture series, symposia and public events organised within the Palazzo
• Contributing and exchanging relevant knowledge and experience to the project throughout an intense and self-managed learning framework
Who: We are looking for highly motivated recent graduates and professionals with or without qualifications who have the relevant expertise to contribute in the fields of architecture, design, art, economics, material science, photography & filmmaking, coding, engineering, environmental science, political theory & activism, carpentry, and others. The language of the residency will be English.
When: The residency will begin in September 2021 and will last until February 2022: (5 months). Participants will be expected to commit to full time presence for the duration of the residency. Participants must organise their own visa. Please note that if you are from a non EU country, you are required to enter the EU as a professional and the allocation of visas are subject to entry quotas ( visit vistoperitalia.esteri.it). V–A–C is only able to support visa applicants with (i) a preliminary contract (subject to visa release), (ii) a preliminary agreement for accommodation, (iii) proof of application to the open call and appointment. N.B. V–A–C is not a registered research facility, therefore is unable to grant prerequisites for research visas.
Where: The residency will take place in Venice and will be based at V–A–C Zattere. Accommodation will be provided for the participating researchers.
How: Participating researchers will be offered a stipend of €8.000 (this is a gross figure, paid via invoice and is inclusive of any VAT/taxes) for the 5 months of residency, in addition to accommodation in Venice. An additional budget will be provided for case study research and the development of contributions to the exhibition. Applicants must be able to provide a valid invoice and are responsible for the payment of any VAT/taxes. V–A–C reserves the right to reject applicants who are not VAT registered.
To apply, please send the following to email@example.com:
• Letter of motivation in English highlighting relevant experience or expertise
• CV/profile in English
• Names and contact details of two professionals or academic referees familiar with your research
Application deadline: 18 June 2021. Successful candidates will be informed by 2 July.Please send any questions or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org