The theme for 2023’s Sharjah Architecture Triennial has been announced as The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability, offering insight into what the show’s programme will entail.
Announcing the news, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, president of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, and curator Tosin Oshinowo, explained how the show’s title centres around how issues of scarcity in the Global South have created a culture of reuse, reappropriation, innovation, collaboration and adaptation.
Taking place in November next year, the triennial will explore how global conversations can be reorientated to “create a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future.”
“Sharjah is an incredible venue to explore impermanence, adaptability, and scarcity as they relate to the future of architecture — both because of the natural extreme climate conditions, and because of the overwhelming presence of impermanence in civic status,” Oshinowo said. “It confronts head-on the challenge of extreme climate within its traditional architecture and the inevitability of human transience that is easily ignored in many other areas of the world.
“A study of Sharjah provides the foundation to explore approaches to architecture that prioritise an understanding of impermanence, an embrace of the inevitability of scarcity, and a psychology of the collective that is essential for our shared future globally.”
Bringing together a range of voices and perspectives, Oshinowo — a Nigerian architect and founder of cmDesign Atelier — has put together a curatorial advisory board of international architects, artists and designers to oversee the vision for 2023.
Board members include Al Qasimi, who is also president and director of Sharjah Art Foundation; Beatrice Galilee, co-founder and executive director of architecture and design discourse platform The World Around; Mariam Kamara, founder of architecture and design firm atelier masomi in Niger; Rahul Mehrotra, founder of architecture firm RMA Architects in Mumbai and Boston; Yinka Shonibare, British-Nigerian artist; and Paulo Tavares, Brazilian architect and urbanist.
The inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial, which opened in 2019, ended in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe.