27 September 2023 — Writing

PDP Reflections: Maxwell Wilson

Maxwell Wilson formed part of the Professional Development Programme, during the summer. From Lhanbryde, Moray, he was a Stage 6 student at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen, graduating in July.

Before going to Venice Maxwell said, “Throughout my time in architecture school, I have become particularly interested in exploring issues of culture of place and regional identity in our built environment which has drawn me to the themes of the event in Venice.”

The creative team behind A Fragile Correspondence asked the PDP participants to select a piece of writing from the reading room and add their own personal reflections. Maxwell said:

“James Bridle’s book ‘Ways of Being’, featured in the A Fragile Correspondence curatorial reading list, brings attention to the German term ‘unwelt.’ This word, literally translated as ‘surroundings’ or ‘environment,’ goes beyond its literal meaning to encompass the lived experiences and perspectives of all life forms. Its strength lies in its capacity to steer us away from a human-centered view of the world.

“What captivates me most about the exhibit is this emphasis on language. Exploring how this powerful tool shapes our thoughts and actions presents a compelling argument for cultivating a more interconnected and sustainable relationship with the Earth and its diverse inhabitants.”

Taking part in the Professional Development Programme also allows the participants to explore the rest of the Biennale and the rest of Venice. Maxwell reflects on one of the Pavilions in the Giardini.

“The Austrian Pavilion prompts us to contemplate the changing dynamics of public spaces, increasingly intertwined with commercial influences.

It exposed me to the strained connection between the Biennale and Venetian locals, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Scotland where seemingly-public spaces within privately owned shopping centres challenge traditional notions of public ownership and accessibility.

These spaces serve as a poignant reminder of the evolving landscape, shifting from communal to privatised domains, symbolised by private security, and exacerbating societal disparities.”

Find out more about A Fragile Correspondence here.