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The 16th iteration of the biennial International Architecture Exhibition kicked off earlier this summer in Venice, featuring more than 70 participants from all across the globe. Bearing the title “Freespace,” this year’s edition (curated by Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell) was put together questioning the idea of “free space,” as well as a desire to create a “freespace.” The exhibition will remain open to the public through November 25.
In acknowledgment of the occasion of Germany’s 28th year of unity (the same period of time as the standing of the Berlin Wall), Lars Krückeberg, Thomas Willemeit, Marianne Birthler, and Wolfram Putz curated the exhibition “Unbuilding Walls.” By following the idea that walls induce a sense of “us” versus “them” the exhibition creates a dialogue on the current debates on nations, division, and protectionism through examples of urban and architectural design, which confront division and integration.
Svizzera 240: House Tour
The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia presents “Svizzera 240: House Tour,” which became the first Swiss Pavilion to receive the Golden Lion award for the best national participation. Inside, a team of young architects including Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg, and Ani Vihervaara, play with size and relative proportions to create a funhouse of optical illusions. Upon entering the pavilion, you see white walls, wide windows, and simple, modern architecture. After further investigation, however, one room appears so small you cannot fit through the door—in the next, a person perched on a kitchen countertop appears to be the size of a small doll.
United States Pavilion
Dimensions of Citizenship
“Dimensions of Citizenship” is an exhibition inspired by the U.S.’s current issues regarding citizenship, in which the designers and architects explore what it means to be a citizen today. The show is put together by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago with several multidisciplinary teams: Amanda Williams, Andres L. Hernandez, Shani Crowe, Studio Gang, SCAPE, Estudio Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerard Pietrusko, Keller Easterling with MANY, and Design Earth. The exhibition features seven immersive installations, which each display the different scales (Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos) of architectural implications of citizenship. The works on display include In Plain Sight and Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line)—which explores issues of race, fugitivity, and public space.
“Repair” is a living multi-sensory exhibition created by artist Linda Tegg in collaboration with the creative directors of Baracco+Wright Architects, Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright. The exhibition—presented by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects—features 10,000 plants both in and outside of the pavilion, designed with the intention of confusing the usual conditions in which architecture is observed and understood. “Repair” includes 3 sections—a selection of 65 species of Western Plains Grasslands in entitled Grasslands Repair, an experimental video series called Ground, and Skylight—an installation that simulates the sun’s energy in order to sustain the plants inside the pavilion.
Cloud Pergola/The Architecture of Hospitality
Curated and conceived by Bruno Juričić, Croatia’s pavilion features a three-part intermingling of works exploring the ways in which the pergola, a structure that is neither private nor public, acts as a channel between nature and all that is man-made. The geometric structures of cloud-like columns found inside the pavilion come together to form a covering, acknowledging an understanding of how the activity of space goes beyond the human intention. Included in the installation are Cloud Drawing, created by Alisa Andrašek in collaboration with Bruno Juričić, To Still the Eye by Vlatka Horvat, and Ephemeral Garden by Maja Kuzmanović.
Highlighting projects created after Argentina’s turn to democracy in 1983, the country’s pavilion (curated by architects Pablo Anzilutti, Javier Mendiondo, Federico Cairoli, and Francisco Garrido) rethinks territory as a place where the wellbeing and equality of its citizens are reinforced by the democratic nature of public spaces. Inside the pavilion, viewers will find landscapes confined to glass boxes, creating surreal, kaleidoscopic reflections of the skies inside. Also included is a series of sketches—created by artists from all over the country—conveying the connections between architecture, landscape, and society.