The Russian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale hosted the expo Fair Enough: An Expo of Ideas that presented 20 of the most important architectural ideas from Russia and the USSR. Some of these bold ideas were put in place and never ceased to be relevant. The pavilion, designed as a commercial fair, answered the question 'What makes architecture modern?' That question was planted by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the biennale.
Each project was presented by a fictional company, the background and legend of which were recreated using research findings and archive materials. For example, the architectural firm Khidekel Elements presented works by Soviet architect Lazar Khidekel. During the Great Patriotic War, he came up with the idea of building factories from ramablocks which would reduce the reliance on concrete and wood. Only his family knew about the idea. None of his finished projects have survived.
On top of fairs, modern architecture relies on forums, TED Talks, lectures, presentations, PechaKuchas, panel discussions, and round tables. Five years after the 2014 Venice Biennale, Brendan McGetrick, Daria Paramonova, and Anton Kalgaev will discuss the fair and its outcomes.
Brendan McGetrick is a writer, designer, and curator. His work has appeared in publications in over 30 countries, including in Wired, Art Review, Domus, and Vogue Nippon. McGetrick's projects include the books MAD Dinner (Actar) and Urban China: Work In Progress (Timezone 8). From 2002 to 2006, McGetrick was head writer at the research and design studio AMO. In 2011, he curated Unnamed Design, a component of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, in collaboration with Ai Weiwei. In 2014, he co-curated Fair Enough in the Russian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. From 2012 to 2015, McGetrick was a tutor at Strelka Institute.
Daria Paramonova is the director of Strelka Architects and a Strelka Institute former student and professor. Daria's projects with Strelka Architects include co-designing 200 territories in Moscow within the My Street programme, the improvement of key public spaces in 40 Russian cities and towns, the Nike pavilion in Gorky Park, and others.
Anton Kalgaev is a culture expert and curator of socio-cultural, publishing, and exhibition projects. He is a former Strelka Institute student (research Russian Arrière-Garde in Rem Koolhaas' Hinterland studio). In 2013, he curated Strelka Institute's public programme. He also co-authored the book Cube (2015) and Matrex. Form Follows Information (2016) with Boris Bernasconi. In 2017 he took part in the research project The Age of Agglomerations and in 2018 published the bookThe Age of Agglomeration. Urban economy, space, and politics of a new scale.
Fair Enough: An Expo of Ideas was the exhibition curated by Strelka Institute in the Russian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale that exposed the continued relevance of historical urban ideas. The pavilion, designed as a commercial fair, answered the question 'What makes architecture modern?' which was planted by Rem Koolhaas, the curator of the biennale. It was meant to remind everyone that it is unified international fairs that popularize relevant architectural ideas.