July 5, 2021 - Public Art Agency Sweden - Future Island
e-flux Architecture
July 5, 2021
July 5, 2021

Public Art Agency Sweden

View of Future Island in Venice, 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2021. Heated rock prototype and wall graphic. Photo: Niccolò Morgan Gandolfi. 

Future Island
17th International Venice Architecture Biennale
May 22–November 21, 2021


Future Island, by OOZE architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrč, is a living artwork—an island that evolves with the seasons and time showing how nature is affected by climate change. The artwork is currently being produced in Stockholm by Public Art Agency Sweden and Akademiska Hus, and is the first Swedish public artwork to be exhibited at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale​.

Future Island is an island of stones, an environment in flux, built on the new Albano campus in Stockholm. The island is divided along latitude 59°20’40”N into two zones: a warm zone in the north, a cold zone in the south. The north side heats up five degrees (with renewable energy) relative to the surrounding landscape. On the island there is a microecosystem, a biotope of native flora and fauna that constantly adapts to the slowly changing conditions. Sensors will record the changes happening on both sides of the island. This creates a permanent artwork in transformation corresponding to current global warming predictions.

Future Island is a scientific staging that we can follow in real time, but also an artwork that raises questions about our future. Through Vetenskapens Hus (the House of Science) and their educational programs on Future Island, children and young people will have the possibility to explore issues about the planet’s future.

The island will be constructed during this summer and fall, and plants will be seeded in collaboration with researchers on climate change.

Future Island in Venice – The Time of Stone in the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale
Future Island is now exhibited as part of the specific research project Future Island in Venice – The Time of Stone at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale. It consists of a prototype of one heated stone and architectural drawings of the planned work as well as research that provides a broadened picture of global warming and explore past and future stories of adaptation. The experimental project, presented in the section As One Planet, captures in miniature, through architecture, the planet’s response to climate change. More than just a preliminary tool for measuring adaptive behaviours, the project uses simulation to create a shared imaginary of our possible future.

How will we live together? is the theme of the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Hashim Sarkis. It is open from May 22 to November 21, 2021. Future Island is on display in Giardini’s Central Pavilion.

OOZE architects was founded in 2003 by Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg. Ooze works in the intersection of art, architecture and urban development. The practise is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since 2008, they collaborate with the artist, architect and researcher Marjetica Potrč. Potrč is based in Ljubljana.

Public Art Agency Sweden
Since 1937, Public Art Agency Sweden has explored and developed the interaction between contemporary art and public spaces. Through site-specific art, temporary interventions, urban development projects, art collections, discussions and publications, we strive to contribute to the development of both contemporary art and public spaces.

Public Art Agency Sweden
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