In Vivo focuses on exploring the new relationships between architects and resources, developing constructive alternatives that use materials from living organisms

The installation by Bento and Vinciane Despret experiments on a large scale with natural and organic materials, including raw earth and mycelium (the vegetative part of mushrooms).

So: how to rethink architecture in a world with limited resources?

" [...] Our proposal - write the curators - is to experiment with desirable alternatives for our territories, our cities, alternatives forged with and starting from the living organisms that inhabit them and make up their fabric.

These experiments would only prolong, extend and even honor the multiple (and often ignored) bonds between humans and non-humans, living and non-living organisms. [...]

The "In Vivo" Pavilion will offer a time and a place to develop critical thinking (…), it will represent a starting point for thinking, recording, affirming, confirming, revoking, planning, fantasizing and above all dreaming ".

The Pavilion will also be the venue for experiments, workshops and opportunities for discussion.

The Belgian Pavilion, the oldest of the Gardens after the Italian one

The Belgian Pavilion was built in 1907 by the architect Léon Sneyers and renovated several times since then.

After the Italian Pavilion, it is the oldest in the Gardens and is located along the main axis of the site. It is occupied alternately by creators from the Flemish community or from the Fédération Wallonie-Brussels.

Other Belgian projects in Venice, chosen by Lesley Lokko

In addition to the Belgian Pavilion, other protagonists of Belgian architecture will also be present at the Biennale.

Yangambi by Sammy Baloji. The figurative artist proposes an installation on the theme of decolonization and decarbonization. The proposal consists of three chapters: a film shot in Yangambi, on the banks of the Congo River, in the forest of the INEAC research center (Institut National pour l'Etude Agronomique du Congo Belge); two installations, one composed of archives and travel notes from Indonesia (in collaboration with the University of Ghent) and another based on the proposal of an atmospheric panorama of the Belgian Congo by the Belgian architect Henry Lacoste.
Broader boundaries by BDR Bureau (IT) and carton123 architecten (BE): the architects propose an exhibition of models that address, through different scales, the theme of Coexistence.


Bento is the association founded in 2019 in Brussels by young graduates (2017 and 2019) of the La Cambre-Horta Faculty of Architecture of the ULB (Université Libre de Brussels). Florian Mahieu, Corentin Dalon and Charles Palliez .
Vinciane Despret is a doctor of philosophy and a graduate in psychology, a lecturer at the University of Liège, a teacher of ethology and psychology at the ULB, curator of exhibitions in Belgium and abroad and the author of numerous works.

Belgian Pavilion, Biennale 2023, in brief

• Title: In Vivo 
• Curators / Exhibitors: Bento and Vinciane Despret with Corentin Mahieu, Juliette Salme, Corentin Mullender, Permafungi, BCMaterials, Sonian WoodCoop
• Commissioner: Fédération Wallonie-Brussels
• Learn more at