27. South African Pavilion – Cool Capital: The Capital of Guerilla Design Citizenship
Commissioner: Consul-General Saul Kgomotso Molobi. Curator: Pieter J. Mathews. Exhibitors: Over 1000 citizens of Pretoria participated in creating 150 installations across the city.
Venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi.
South African pavilion presents successful physical outcomes and practical solutions to urban challenges, conceived and implemented by citizens for the citizens of the administrative capital city under the umbrella organization of “Cool Capital”. The Pavilion is called “The Capital of Uncurated Design Citizenship”, and showcases a selection of projects from Cool Capital – an urban experiment and labour of love by Mathews and a small team of dedicated architects, artists and designers that began in 2012, coincidentally at the 2012 Biennale Architettura.
Locally referred to as the world’s first uncurated, DIY guerrilla biennale, Cool Capital’s intent was simple: to dislodge the bureaucratic relationship between citizens and public space and to encourage a new appreciation of where they live. The project encouraged citizens to rediscover marginalized or forgotten parts of the city and to collaborate and become active agents in the creative rethinking of them as home, place, destination and capital city. All of Cool Capital‘s projects either challenged, celebrated or leveled the status quo. It continues ideas of urban renewal in the public realm but urges that this discussion should not only be among industry professionals, but also include the broader general public.