Strategic Practice

12th International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo

'Todo dia/Everyday' is the theme proposed by the curators Vanessa Grossman, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and Ciro Miguel, laureates of the first international competition for curatorship held by the São Paulo Department of the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IABsp) for the 12th edition of the International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo.

Todo dia/Everyday seeks to explore fundamental questions about the built environment by considering the new protagonism of the quotidian in both contemporary discourses and practices of architecture and urbanism across the globe. The concept of everyday life has permeated architecture in the past, but the last decade has seen the rise of new ethics and aesthetics of simplicity triggered by more encompassing and interdisciplinary notions of the everyday.

The current state of unprecedented human and environmental impacts from climate change, including the latest global panic over the forest fires in the Amazon, is the backdrop for this event. Both the program and the participating projects attempt to reimagine how the everyday realm shapes our world in the 21st century, considering how recent geopolitical changes, revisions of the rule of law, and the challenges of an automated future might affect the daily life of humans and non-humans.
Todo dia/Everyday unfolds along three perspectives: Everyday Stories, Everyday Resources and Everyday Maintenance. Everyday Stories examines the myriad ways architects and other design professionals reinterpret the everyday, reporting stories linked to the production of space, ranging from the poetic subtleties of the quotidian to the revelation of the violence, and inequalities that affect lives daily. Everyday Resources addresses the growing awareness of architects, landscape designers, and urban planners with uses of everyday resources both in urban and rural contexts in the Anthropocene. Everyday Maintenance explores the mainten lo ance of architecture and the city, a long overlooked subject now gaining attention in today’s political spheres and within technological research worldwide.
Todo dia/Everyday consists of two exhibitions following the three axes taking place in two “manifesto” buildings of São Paulo’s everyday. Todo dia/Everyday is presented at Sesc 24 de Maio (2017), a 1941-building renovated by Paulo Mendes da Rocha and MMBB into a multi-functional facility currently used by 10,000 people on a daily basis. The show features ten site-specific devices commissioned to ten teams of architects and other professionals as new mechanisms in the daily life of this urban machine: from its sidewalk corner to a bathroom, including the entrance plaza, ramps, fire escape, living area, and swimming pool.
The show brings together Wolff Architects (South Africa) and Brazilian anthropologist Hélio Menezes through New Republic, which sets out to question the invisible forces that perform spatial racial divides in the streets of São Paulo. Concreto Rosa, a Rio de Janeiro-based collective run by women to women, put together Home, proclaiming design as a thread spanning from domestic environments towards a new network of cooperation, challenging a sector mostly dominated by men. Clouds’ Catcher, by Bruther (France), is an rural-derived low-tech structure celebrating water as a shared resource on the city’s unique collective rooftop swimming pool. Water, by Elli Mosayebi (Switzerland), is a transparent sink cast for the building’s most used bathroom confronting Brazilian obsession with body maintenance and water usage whereas Rampante, by Renata Marquez and Wellington Cançado (Belo Horizonte), materializes warming stripes for São Paulo in the last 119 years. Homo urbanus, by filmmakers Bêka & Lemoine (Italy/France), commends how the everyday life in the city boils down to a quest for finding a way to live together. Architecture as Rendered Society by Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation (Spain/USA), looks into the technological and social performance of glass: how, for whom, and by whom it is produced, specified, used and maintained. Other works include a partnership between Adamo-Faiden (Argentina) and Vão (São Paulo); Andrés Sandoval (São Paulo); Universum Carrousel Journey - Studio Jan de Vylder (Belgium).
Arquiteturas do cotidiano/Architectures of the Everyday, organized through an International Open Call, takes place at Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP, 1982), a public facility designed by Eurico Prado Lopes e Luiz Telles. Strategically connected to a busy subway station, CCSP is the epitome of São Paulo’s everyday for 2,500 users. The show maps 74 architectural and urban projects, installations, performances, photographs, research, academic work, videos and talks from more than 30 countries. Among the presented works are “Building the Everyday” by São Paulo-based Estúdio Flume fostering architecture as an opportunity to enhance a new economy of babassu nuts in small Brazilian agro-extractivist producers and quilombolas. “Dinner Party with Sharing Trainers” by MIT Architecture Critical Broadcasting Lab (USA) is a wearable meal-performance celebrating design as a way of cultivating kinship among beings. The feminist architecture practice muf architecture/art from London presents “Extra time”, a reflection on the temporal, spatial and material dimension of the everyday, displaying the "extra-ordinary" laundry room in Casa de Vidro, former residence in São Paulo of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992). muf architecture/art suggests that the laundry room is a state of mind. At CCSP, visitors and passers-by are invited to reflect on what they do with their own "extra time"—or of their own laundry rooms.

The opening lecturers are Andrés Jaque and Beatriz Colomina (Spain/USA). Participating in other lectures and debates on the politics of everyday, gender, racial and social spatial divides, the Anthropocene and daily maintenance are: architect Enrique Walker (Chile/USA); filmmaker Ila Bêka (Italy); architect and urban planner Tainá de Paula (Rio de Janeiro); architect and special advisor at São Paulo City Council Joyce Berth (São Paulo); anthropologist Renzo Taddei (São Paulo); teacher and leader of Guarani Mbya people Jerá Guarani; chief fire officer Ana Flores (São Paulo), among others. The full list of participants is available on the Biennale’s website. The event’s closing speech is given by Paulo Mendes da Rocha in conversation with Gustavo Cedroni (Metro Arquitetos) on November 27, 2019.

2019, with Ciro Miguel and Vanessa Grossman

12th International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo

Everyday, Winning entry

Photo Ciro Miguel

Everyday Stories

Photo Ciro Miguel

Everyday Resources

Photo Ciro Miguel

Everyday Maintenance

Sesc 24 de Maio (Photo Ciro Miguel)


Photo Ciro Miguel

'Cloud Catcher' at Sesc 24 by Bruther

Photo Guilherme Pianca