Among 63 Participating Countries on the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, I chose 12 participation that should not be missed.
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are the curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, that runs from May 26th to November 25th , in Venice .
The Biennale Architettura 2018 is titled FREESPACE, a word which describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda.
Svizzera 240 - House Tour, Switzerland
Golden Lion for Best National Participation
Commissioners: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia: Marianne Burki, Sandi Paucic, Rachele Giudici Legittimo
Exhibitors: Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg, Ani Vihervaara
Svizzera 240 celebrates the promise of the unfurnished image by constructing its theatrical counterpart, the house tour, within the Swiss pavilion. On this tour, the plan’s promise of control over scale, organisation, and function, is undermined by the representational deficiencies of the image in an attempt to highlight the latent plasticity of the world’s most popular habitat.
Commissioner: Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
Curators: Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle
Exhibitors: Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle in collaboration with Bruce Bégout, Philippe
Braquenier, Sébastien Lacomblez, Dennis Pohl, Claire Trottignon & 6’56” (Jurgen Maelfeyt)
The Belgian pavilion therefore addresses the deficiency of democratic and citizen spaces in the EU Quarter. By offering a public agora, it hopes to arouse political commitment in European citizens and extend an invitation to pursue the construction of Europe as a political ideal, as well as its anchorage in Brussels. Based on spatial hints and urban or architectural traces, its guidebook, Voyage en Eurotopie, offers a glimpse of what Europe and Brussels may be and how space-makers may learn from the supranational city.
Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness, Indonesia
Commissioner: Ricky Joseph Pesik, Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Bekraf), Indonesian Creative Economy Agency and Ahmad Djuhara -Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (IAI), Indonesian Institute of Architects
Curators: Ary Indrajanto, David Hutama, Adwitya Dimas Satria, Ardy Hartono, Jonathan Aditya Gahari, Johanes Adika Gahari
The pavilion Sunyata aims to demonstrate a production of architectural space by embracing Emptiness as a cultural-based method to liberate spatial experience from ocularcentrism and oppression of grids. By emphasising to the very core of volumetric spatial order instead of the elemental ones, an interplay of scale-proportion and tactility are the main apparatus to make the exhibition engaging to the audience.
Unbuilding Walls ,Germany
Commissioner: Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.
Curator: Marianne Birthler, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, Thomas Willemeit
Unbuilding Walls focuses on outstanding examples of urban and architectural design that address aspects of division and integration. By analysing architectural projects on the former border strip, Unbuilding Walls examines the question of what happened on this unprecedented void in the middle of a new capital. The heterogeneity of the multitude of approaches, typologies, protagonists, and results show the breadth of architectural debates and solutions. Taking the experience of the inner-German border as a starting point, the exhibition also examines current barriers, fences and walls beyond Germany’s specific national perspective. A journalist team travelled to border walls around the world for the video installation Wall of Opinions, where people living with walls today had a chance to speak about their situation.
No More Free Space?, Singapore
Commissioner: Mark Wee, DesignSingapore Council and Larry Ng Lye Hock, Urban Redevelopment Authority & Board of Architects
Curators: Erwin Viray; Keng Hua Chong, Tomohisa Miyauchi, Yen Yen Wu, Jason Lim
Exhibitors: Chang Architects, Linghao Architects, SCDA Architects, CPG Consultants, RMJM Hillier, WOHA Architects, Singapore Polytechnic, New Space Architects, DIA Brand Consultants, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers in collaboration with IJP Corporation UK, LOOK Architects, Lekker Architects, DP Architects, ZARCH Collaboratives, Residents of Toa Payoh, Jurong East and Tampines, Singapore University of Technology and Design and National University of Singapore.
The Singapore pavilion tells the story of how we have created delightful free spaces, in spite of our size. It is a study of how architects and designers have innovated and borrowed from nature to create useful and delightful spaces and places. Our tropical urban environment serves as both context and inspiration for architects and designers, who borrow free natural resources like light, air and water. They imagine spaces that did not exist by going upwards, sideways or underground. A cloud of acrylic knots in the Singapore pavilion invites visitors to experience these delightful free spaces via a multi-sensorial experience. This showcase, which celebrates the generosity of space- and place-making through openness, discovery and resolve, kickstarts a conversation on how creativity can turn constraints into possibilities.
Building a Future Countryside ,People’s Republic of CHINA
Commissioner: China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG)
Curator: Li Xiangning
Exhibitors: Dong Yugan, Hua Li, Liu Yuyang, Philip F. Yuan, Rural Urban Framework, Zhang Lei, Atelier Archmixing, Atelier Deshaus, Chen Haoru, China New Rural Planning and Design, Dong Gong, Drawing Architecture Studio, Hsieh Ying-Chun, Jin Jiangbo, Li Yikao, Li Xinggang, Seung H-ang, Nishizawa Ryue, Li Zhenyu, Lyu Pinjing, Naturalbuild, O-office Architects, temp architects, Xu Tiantian, Zhang Li, Zhao Yang, Zhu Jingxiang.
The development of the countryside in contemporary China is unprecedented in both its scale and its approaches. More importantly, it anticipates a new solution based on China’s unique condition. Building a Future Countryside depicts the countryside of contemporary China through six episodes. With poetical dwelling, local producing, cultural practice, agricultural tourism, community building and future exploring, the exhibition outlines a FREESPACE for opportunity and anticipates future development. We return to the countryside where Chinese culture originated to recover forgotten values and overlooked possibilities; from there, we will build a future countryside.
Another Generosity, NORDIC COUNTRIES (FINLAND-NORWAY-SWEDEN)
Commissioner: Reetta Heiskanen, Museum of Finnish Architecture
Curators: Juulia Kauste, Eero Lundén
Exhibitors: Lundén Architecture Company
Humankind is actively shaping the world today. The geological impact of human activity is so pronounced it has changed the behavior of our planet. This is the epoch of the Anthropocene. Though the Anthropocene may appear to mark the moment humans have come to overpower nature, it is also an opportunity to rethink the most basic relationship between our buildings and ecology. Architecture should be considered a tool for redefining the complete cycle of building, from its most essential components to its operating systems. Another Generosity explores the relationship between nature and the built environment, and how architecture can facilitate the creation of a world that supports the symbiotic coexistence of both. It seeks to create a spatial experience which heightens our awareness of our surroundings. Moreover, it is an attempt to foster dialogue, debate and criticism to help reveal new ways we can shape our world with another generosity. A generosity not just between humans but between humans and nature.
Commissioner: Federica Galloni, Direttore Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo Curator: Mario Cucinella
The Italian pavilion takes the visitor on a journey through the Arcipelago Italia. The aim is to communicate the spirit of territories that are far from the metropolitan imagination, territories that are the custodians of an inestimable cultural heritage, which show Italy to be in contrast with Europe’s urban structure, a chink in the armour.
WORK, BODY, LEISURE The NETHERLANDS
Commissioner: Het Nieuwe Instituut
Curator: Marina Otero Verzier
Exhibitors: Amal Alhaag, Beatriz Colomina, Marten Kuijpers & Victor Muñoz Sanz, Simone C. Niquille, Mark Wigley, Matthew Stewart & Jane Chew, Northscapes Collective (Hamed Khosravi, Taneha K. Bacchin & Filippo laFleur), Noam Toran, Giuditta Vendrame, Paolo Patelli, Liam Young, Florentijn Boddendijk and Remco de Jong, Giulio Squilacciotti.
The Dutch pavilion addresses the spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labour ethos and conditions. The project seeks to foster creativity and responsibility within the architectural field in response to technologies of automation. The curator, Marina Otero Verzier, has envisioned the pavilion as a collaborative research endeavour by an international network.
Commissioner: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)
Curator: Kerem Piker
Vardiya (shift) commits a programme full of public events to turn the pavilion of Turkey into an open space for temporary accommodation, production and encountering. It is envisioned as a hotspot for workshops, roundtable discussions and informal meetings. It welcomes over a hundred international students of architecture, tens of tutors, guest professionals, keynote speakers and visitors; it invites all to a continuous learning and production process throughout the weeks of the Biennale Architettura 2018. The organisation of the program puts students of architecture into frontline by an international open call. Among five hundred applicants responding to the questions “Why does La Biennale exist? What does La Biennale do? For whom does La Biennale exist?”, shortlisted participants invite visitors and guests to think on the purpose and role of the biennials through their video installations. Along with the outcomes of this open call, students are encouraged to be active producers of the evolving exhibition content in the pavilion through workshops with a variety of contributing actors.
Commissioner: Ministerio de Fomento AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo-Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación AC/E, Acción Cultural Española
Curator: Atxu Amann
Exhibitors: Students and architects from Spanish learning environments
becoming shows Spanish architecture through the works of a superb set of home-grown architects, where women are currently more in number than men. They demand rethinking the conditions of learning environments, abandoning predefined order schemes. The exhibition focuses on the actions, discourses and productions of the students, showing the complexity of our operational logics and trying to transform them into systems as simple as the choreographies of everyday life to make them accessible to all citizens. becoming is an experience which opens the door to an unknown atmosphere where the students build up the conflicts, the needs and other ways of living the world.
Dimensions of Citizenship, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Commissioners: School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Paul Coffey, Jonathan Solomon), The University of Chicago (Bill Brown, Bill Michel)
Curators: Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, Mimi Zeiger
Exhibitors: Amanda Williams + Andres L.Hernandez in collaboration with Shani Crowe;Design Earth; Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerard Pietrusko with Columbia Center for Spatial Research; Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman; Keller Easterling with MANY; SCAPE; Studio Gang, Frances Bodomo, Mandana Moghaddam, David Rueter and Marissa Lee Benedict, Mika Rottenberg, Liam Young
Dimensions of Citizenship challenges architects and designers to envision what it means to be a citizen today. As transnational flows of capital, digital technologies, and geopolitical transformations expand, conventional notions of citizenship are undermined. How might architecture, then, express today’s rhizomatic and paradoxical conditions of citizenship? The US pavilion explores seven spatial scales: Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos. These scales, telescoping from body to city to heavens, broadly position citizenship as a critical global topic. Installations by architects, landscape architects, artists, and theorists investigate spaces of citizenship marked by histories of inequality and the violence imposed on people, non-human actors, and ecologies. These works do not solve the complex relationships of governance, affinity, and circumstance that bind us. Instead, they use architecture’s disciplinary agency to render visible paradoxes and formulations of belonging.
All photos Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia