GHETTO at the AGO
In collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and European Cultural Centre, GHETTO: Sanctuary for Sale was first displayed at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. It has now travelled to the Art Gallery of Ontario and is on display until November 20, 2022.
Demonstrating our studio’s credo that architecture has the potential to be a poetic expression of social justice, GHETTO proposes a physical conduit for the redistribution of wealth – in this case from tourists to refugees – by transferring equity garnered in the development process in a mutually beneficial manner. In this theoretical model for Venice, the city’s historical saturation of tourists is leveraged as an economic opportunity funding the development of refugee housing entirely through the sale of tourist timeshare condominiums.
As the world responds to mass migration and forcible displacement, architecture is challenged to consider new spatial solutions that enable integration and cultivate community. Venice – the chosen site for our theoretical project GHETTO – is a logical platform for posing larger questions about the role of architects, and how the historical Jewish ghetto and the city’s cosmopolitan history can help inform contemporary architectural discourse.