If you were to have asked me three months ago where I’d be writing this column from, I’d have smiled and shared some details about the terrace of a lovely little hotel in Venice that I don’t want to name. It’s the regular Venice Architecture Biennale base of a friend, the film-maker Gillian Dobias, who has been kind enough to share the location of the sunny harbourside pensione with me. It’s a short walk from where the architecture industry’s biggest and most beautiful event takes place every other year.
I’d also have been highlighting what’s happening at the biennale’s press and VIP day, which would have taken place today: sunglasses and shorts would be donned and we'd leave the hordes of tourists in our wake to wander into the grand Giardini and enjoy curator Hashim Sarkis’s approach to this year’s theme, “How Will We Live Together?”
That hope was clearly dashed with the pandemic-related postponement of the biennale for another year. That Sarkis’s focus was on a subject so relevant for now makes that all the more frustrating. And the event’s delay is an obvious blow for Italy’s creative industries, which global architects and interior designers covet considerably.
Thankfully those same architects and designers will be finding inspiration in Italy much sooner than May 2021. The reopening of the country’s furniture showrooms is a welcome boost for Italy’s creative reputation, with major brands such as Cassina planning public launches of new designs in showrooms as early as next month. There are also discussions about a design industry showcase in Milan as early as September. Perhaps the dream of enjoying breakfast on a terrace in a nice northern Italian city isn’t too distant after all.