Amsterdam-based design, art and architecture diffuser, the European Cultural Centre (ECC), is a platform for reflection, research and interdisciplinary encounters across the fields of visual art, dance, performance, theatre, music, literature, architecture, and more. At a time when Europe, like much of the world, is experiencing a resurgence of intolerance and extremism, the ECC has mounted two large exhibitions in Venice (11 May - 24 November) that emphasise heterogeneity and diversity of point of view.

VENICE DESIGN 2019 and Personal Structures - Identities offer a snapshot of global creative communities, witness a moment in history and ask viewers to look at the world through eyes other than their own.

In its fourth edition at the Palazzo Michiel, VENICE DESIGN 2019 presents 71 projects from 30 countries, a panorama of multidisciplinary approaches and practices from fashion to furniture and technology that shed light on design's role in the world today.

'Some consider design a provocative tool, while others propose alternatives to improve human well-being or environmental issues,' said the ECC's Anaïs Hammoud. 'Without forgetting design's playfulness and interactivity, the common driving force of the projects is to transcend and challenge our usual realities.'

(Top to bottom) VENICE DESIGN 2019 art by Nina van Bart and acoocooro, Palazzo Michiel, photo ©Matteo Razzano. Personal Structures - Identities 2019 Palazzo Mora vernissage, photo ©Riccardo Grassetti. Title photo ©Chiara Becattini.

Personal Structures is a creative platform inaugurated in 2002 and in its fifth edition in Venice, where artists explore different perspectives without prejudice. Dispersed amongst the Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and the Giardini della Marinaressa, it brings together emerging and established artists, the self-taught and art academies who are working across video, sculpture, photography, site-specific installations and other media to address the themes of 'time, space and existence', cultural identity, the body, religion and sexuality.

'Back in 2002, we noticed that what we would consider logical is not universal and that these points of view that don't conform to our own are interesting and need a platform,' said ECC Italy's Sara Danieli. This year, the show features work ranging from Roman Opalka's documentation of the passage of time; Purvis Young's sorting of the 'problems of the world'; and Erin Genia's 'Acoustic Tipi', a call for unity around ecological decline.

Personal Structures - Identities 2019: (top) art by Federico Uribe, photo ©Marco del Zotto, (middle) Gerai Tai Tai by Pow Ideas, (bottom) the Purvis Young room in Palazzo Mora, courtesy Skot Foreman Gallery. Photos by ©Riccardo Grassetti. Architect Arata Isozaki at Time Space Existence 2012, Palazzo Bembo.

Next year, the ECC will present Time Space Existence, the ECC's next architecture biennial in Venice while Public Architecture - Future for Europe will go up at the Moscow Architecture State Museum.

'The European Cultural Centre reflects on the dynamics of European culture and influences,' said the ECC's Valeria Romagnini. 'The role of creative and critical thinking, fostered by arts and cultural activities, plays a key role if citizens are to regain trust in Europe. The Venice venue offers a unique meeting place to explore, experience, document and present cultural togetherness.'