Empowerment of Aesthetics

People met the smell of dirt, heard the sound of poetry and burried their toes in pine needles at the Danish pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2014.

Exhibition Period 7 June 2014 - 23 November 2014
Show on map Location The Danish Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy

danishpavilion-02-medium.jpgFrom the exhibition Empowerment of Aethetics in the Danish Pavilion. Photo: Jens Lindhe

The exhibition was curated by Stig L. Anderson who insists on a new sensuous and sustainable symbiosis between rationality and aesthetics - between architecture and nature.

It is a reflection on the fundamentals of the modern Danish society, which emerged in the mid19th Century: The short pocket of time after the collapse of Romanticism but before the heralded Danish welfare state fully emerged; where the poetic interaction between architecture, literature, art, nature and science liberated an unprecedented energy and a belief in a dynamic society hitherto unseen in Denmark and elsewhere.

"My ambition is to present the interrelationship of forgotten, repressed or underexposed parts of the dynamic Danish modernity. Not only in the history of architecture, but also in science, art and poetry."

- Curator, professor, and landscape architect Stig L. Andersson



>> See the exhibition catalogue for Empowerment of Aesthetics



How do we live in the future cities and city regions? How can we plan smart based on the available knowledge and history? In relation to the oficial opening of the Danish pavilion, Danish and international politicians, architects and experts were invited to take part in a debate on the sustainable future of our cities.


 Opening debate. From left: Kent Martinussen (CEO, Danish Architecture Centre) Stig L. Andersson (Curator and partner in SLA), Freija Van Duijne (Independent futurist at Future Motions, president Dutch Future Society, analyst at The Hague), Serban Cornea (Apartner in Mutopia), Aase Nyegaard (Deputy Mayor in Sønderborg), Tina Saaby (City architect, Copenhagen), Brian Vad Mathiesen (Professor, Aalborg university), Michael Ziegler (Mayor, Høje-Taastrup), Mathias Sauerbruch (Partner in Sauerbruch Hutton tbc.).Photo: CARMERAPHOTO ARTE

Photos from the exhibition



Fra udstillingen Empowerment of Aethetics i den danske pavillon. Fotos: Jens Lindhe

SLA collage Biennale 2014

Photo collage: SLA

Empowerment of Aesthetics

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Photos from the official opening

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See video presenting projects by SLA


Part of the big picture

The Danish pavilion was part of a larger project debating the future of Denmark. In the big scenario project called DK2050,  both rationality and aesthetics are crucial powers, when creating images of our future cities and society. DK2050 e.g. asks;  How will we live in Denmark in the year 2050? What are the challenges and dilemmas meeting us on the way? How can cities, politicians and each one of us participate and navigate in the decision making on our common road into a sustainable future?

>> More about DK2050

The Danish contribution to the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia was supported by: The Ministry of Culture Denmark, Realdania, The Danish Arts Foundation, The Dreyer Foundation, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968, OSRAM, SpektraLED, New Mat, alluVial International, Egen Vinding & Datter, Bark House, Sibelco Denmark, Niels Bohr Arkivet, Museum Jorn, Mariebjerg Kirkegaard, Thorvaldsens Museum, The Hirschsprung Collection, KØS, Carsten Hoff, iGuzzini, Lokalhistorisk Arkiv i Gentofte, G.N. Brandts Haves Venner.


Find more information

>> Go to press kit

>> Go to the Venice Biennale Official website

>> Go to privious exhibition at the Danish Pavilion Possible Greenland (2012)



Stig L. Andersson and SLA Architects is reknown for a wide number of new urban spaces and landscape development projects - here is a few, which was part of the biennale exhibition  'Empowerment of Aesthetics'.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 / By Sidsel Hartlev

Last updated Wednesday, July 19, 2017