16. Sep 2022

Record numbers for TAB 2022 Opening Week

Opening of TAB 22. Photo: Jaan Sokk.

The 6th Tallinn Architecture Biennale curated by Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou, in collaboration with local advisor Ivan Sergejev and assistant curator Sonia Sobrino Ralston, has closed its Opening Week having welcomed a new record of ca 3000 visitors between architects, planners, designers and students from more than 20 countries.

Dedicated to the theme “Edible; Or, The Architecture of Metabolism”, this edition, which will continue its Curatorial Exhibition “EDIBLE” until November 20th, 2022, transfers the metabolism and experiential aptitudes of the natural world – like growth, decay, digestion, and nutrient release – to the domain of cities and buildings.

“Today, within the context of interconnected global crises – namely the climate emergency, the public health crisis and rising social inequity – the idea of a world where resources are recirculated is vital for planetary habitability. In this context, it is increasingly important to think about how we produce our food, where it comes from, and how its production within cities and redistribution could reshape our lives and infrastructures. Estonia is one of the world’s most digitally developed epicentres, and the exhibition “EDIBLE” could inspire us to look even further towards innovative solutions that reform urban territories like Tallinn. With the installations in “EDIBLE”, we hope to reveal how architecture constructs, distributes, and leverages power via material upcycling, interspecies alliances, biopolitics and excremental processes,” say Head Curators Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou.

At the heart of the Curatorial Exhibition is the future “Metabolic Home” featuring all the elements of a domestic space, from kitchen to toilette and dining room, highlighting the diverse steps of the digestive process. “From Brick to Soil” showcases a collection of edible, upcycled, and compostable building materials which are not experimental but are working prototypes and products already in production. “Food and Geopolitics” explores the realm of food sourcing, mass migrations and the transformation of our food system. On the top floor of the museum, “The Future Food Deal” features a selection of cookbooks and visionary manifestos conceived by architects and educators from worldwide architecture universities. Meanwhile, “The Archaeology of Architecture and Food Systems” displays a timeline and archive of speculative projects and artworks.

In the first-floor foyer, an exhibition of the models created by the 12 finalists of the Installation Programme Competition “Slowbuildings” preludes the main Curatorial Exhibition, whilst the winning project “Fungible Non-Fungible” by iheartblob stands proudly outside the museum. The timber installation is the first ever blockchain-funded architecture initiative that integrates architectural design, fabrication and funding. For the entire duration of the biennial, users will be able to design and mint new blocks through the dedicated platform www.app.tab.iheartblob.com to further develop the pavilion structure.

Moreover, more than 30 speakers who participated in the 2-day Symposium “EDIBLE”, which took place in the unique industrial setting of Tallinn Creative Hub, have formed different interdisciplinary panels to discuss how architecture, food, farming, urban strategies and circular operations are strictly intertwined in the future of our environment. In addition to the TAB 2022 participants, guests included the architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina, art historian Evelyn Steiner, community activist Maria Derlõs, curator Pedro Gadanho, maker Jonathan Minchin, OCCO co-founder and CEO Ander Sõõrumaa, among others. You can (re)watch the entire Symposium on Estonian Centre for Architecture Youtube channel.

Alongside a vast selection of Satellite events, TAB 2022 Official Programme was animated by five main events: the Curatorial Exhibition “EDIBLE”, the 2-day Symposium “EDIBLE”, the Vision Competition Exhibition “Circular Block: Reinventing the Mikrorayon”, the Installation Programme and Pavilion “Fungible Non Fungible” and the International Architecture Schools’ Exhibition “Handful”.

During the Opening Week, TAB 2022 successfully acted as a trigger, encouraging architectural professionals and the general public to experience the Estonian context, invigorating the local scene with international guests and engaging its visitors in a wide array of original debates.

See a selection of opening week pictures (Evert Palmets, Jaan Sokk, Tõnu Tunnel, Kevin Loigu).