Holcim Foundation


Reporting from the Front: Sustainability vs. Security

Expert panel discussion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition

The Holcim Foundation invited members of the public to attend a panel discussion featuring Alejandro Aravena, Jonathan Ledgard, Milinda Pathiraja, and Robert Mardini at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia on Friday, November 25 at 17:00. As a concluding feature of the Architecture Biennale, the panel will discuss how growing security concerns will add complexity to the challenges to which architecture must respond.

Security issues impact on the global supply chain and international flows of construction materials while conflict causes devastating effects on livelihoods and the built environment. Based on his experience in curating the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2016 in Venice, Alejandro Aravena inspired the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction to organize a debate on sustainability and security. Framed as one of the Architecture Biennale’s concluding discussions, the event will focus on topics that were raised in the exhibition “Reporting from the Front” and expose them to “real life reports” from the forefront of architecture and related disciplines.

The internationally renowned speakers will navigate the discussion via the following key questions:

  • How might the issue of security impact the future of architecture as a discipline?
    Alejandro Aravena, Curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Member of the Board of the Holcim Foundation and Partner Architect & Executive Director of Elemental, Chile.
  • What are the risks and challenges of using a technology developed for warfare when applied for humanitarian purposes?
    Johnathan Ledgard, creator of the Droneport concept in collaboration with The Norman Foster Foundation, and Director of the Future Africa Initiative at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL Lausanne), Switzerland. 
  • How could military know-how be re-oriented to positively impact the cause of sustainability?
    Milinda Pathiraja, Robust Architecture Workshop, Sri Lanka and winner of the Global Holcim Awards Silver 2015 for “Post-War Collective: Community library and social recuperation in Ambepussa” which has been constructed by the Sinha Regiment of the Sri Lankan Army. 
  • How can a sustainable future for populations plagued by war and violence be ensured?
    Robert Mardini, Regional Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Near & Middle East.

The discussions will be moderated by Rolf Soiron, Chairman of the Board of the Holcim Foundation and Member of the ICRC.

Reporting from the Front: Sustainability vs. Security on Friday, November 25, 17:00 at La Biennale di Venezia, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale (adjacent to the main entrance of the Arsenale exhibition area).


Last Updated: September 22, 2016
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Venice, Italy
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