2014 Cool Capital Biennale

Cool Capital logo

A group of lovers of the visual arts, design and architecture has a dream to create a new awareness and sense of pride among the people of Pretoria/ Tshwane, by adding value to the built environment of the city. An action programme for a Biennale showcasing architecture, art and design, and the immense creativity of our people is well under way.

At the 2012 Venice Architectural Biennale, the award winning exhibition by Bruce Nauman featured the new worldwide acknowledged notion that small, citizen lead interventions can make a massive difference and bring about positive change in a community. The concept for the Biennale is essentially such a ‘bottom up’ approach rather than a ‘top down’ scheme driven by political and commercial self-interest. Enough small projects loaded with creativity and enthusiasm would generate the critical mass to make such an event a success. The benefits would be lasting contributions to an enhanced image for the city and a new unified focus among its people. The aim is an event for all: all languages, cultures and religions, all individuals and organisations will be welcome.

Why 2014?
2014 presents a marvellous opportunity to capitalise on and contribute to other major related events taking place: Cape Town has been crowned the 2014 World Design Capital, and Durban is the host city for the International Union of Architects’ conference.

And what will it be?
Most world-class cities have a focused and branded image and create platforms for their creative community. Everybody belongs somewhere on a spectrum of creativity and this initiative will strive to give everyone a chance to shape the city, whether decorating a lamp post in front of their house or mobilising their street, school or church. This project can heal and regenerate neglected parts of the city. History has shown that small interventions can make a difference: a mural in a rundown precinct can uplift an entire area. ‘Urban acupuncture’ can have a lasting effect.

‘Small is beautiful’ will be the mantra. The idea is to create small design interventions across the city from all possible creative disciplines such as architecture, art, sculpture, urban design, interior design and product design. The interventions could be permanent or temporary, or even illusionary, such as a projection onto a building.

Participation can include

  • Architecture - small pavilions, entrance gates, security booths, kiosks at schools, temporary display spaces, music stands, vendor and information kiosks, simply a beautiful folly
  • Urban design - benches, street furniture, children's play equipment in parks, signage, shelters for the homeless
  • Art - graffiti or painted facades on old buildings, signage, public sculpture or installation art. Photography could also be displayed
  • Events and conferences
  • Any other great idea!

From Saturday 23 August 2014 to 29 November 2014, all the interventions at the different locations will be made accessible to the public, especially on weekends. The best contributions will be featured in a prestigious catalogue printed for the Cool Capital Biennale 2014.

Any visionary creative person, institution, association or studio in Pretoria/Tshwane that can produce work of acceptable standard can participate. It is a chance for everyone to showcase their talent while also promoting their particular educational institution, studio or company.

Let’s do it!
Cool Capital Biennale will shortly be opened up to potential sponsors to ensure that there is ample time to budget for this event in 2014. The website www.coolcapital.co.za will go live in January 2013 when any project or collaboration can be registered.

In the mean time you can cool the Capital by liking www.facebook.com/coolcapital2014

Contact: Pieter Matthews (Convenor)