The U.S. Department of State has selected Storefront for Art and Architecture and PRAXIS Journal to organize the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architectural Biennale, “Fundamentals,” curated by Rem Koolhaas.
The US exhibition, titled, OfficeUS: Criticism by Remaking, will be curated by Eva Franch i Gilabert, Ana Miljački and Ashley Schafer.
More info on the US Pavilion, after the break...
The Pavilion itself will be composed of two parts: The Repository, an archive of 1,000 projects designed by American architecture firms and exported abroad over the last 100 years; and The Office, a kind of "active, experimental architectural" laboratory "with the mission to critically remake and reinterpret the material in the Repository." The Office team will include five design fellows who will do this live in front of visitors, essentially "designing in public from June through November.”
As the curators stated in their press release, "Museums and history books present the last century of American architecture as one of singular buildings and singular figures. But there is a parallel history of U.S.-designed buildings sprinkled throughout the world that remains under-examined. These are the buildings we are interested in, together with the offices that produced them."
According to The New York Times' Arts Beat Blog, these under-examined offices will include firms like "the Architects’ Collaborative of Cambridge, Mass., which designed a campus for the University of Baghdad in the 1950s, and Albert Kahn, the Detroit architect whose Moscow office helped to industrialize the Soviet Union in the 1930s."
While still in formation, the OfficeUS team includes: Architizer, CLOG, Michael Kubo, Chris Leong, Dominic Leong/Leong Leong (who will design the pavilion interiors), Natasha Jen/Pentagram, PRAXIS, Jacob Reidel, Carlos Minguez Carrasco/Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Founded in 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design. Its program of exhibitions, artists talks, film screenings, conferences and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological and disciplinary boundaries. As a public forum for emerging voices, Storefront explores vital issues in art and architecture with the intent of increasing awareness of and interest in contemporary design.
Founded in 1999, PRAXIS: a journal of writing + building has established itself as a distinctive voice in international architectural culture. The journal focuses on the architecture of the Americas and is committed to increasing awareness of lesser known and emerging architectural practices by publishing them alongside more established ones. Its publications address contemporary design issues in both depth and breadth, and have engendered a forum for an architectural discourse uniquely rooted in practice.
About the curators:
Eva Franch i Gilabert: (Executive Director and Chief Curator of Storefront for Art and Architecture)
Franch is an architect, researcher, curator, teacher, and founder in 2003 of OOAA (office of architectural affairs). Prior to joining SFAA in 2010, Franch was an artist in residence at Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, and directed the Masters Thesis studio at Rice University while practicing and building in Catalonia. She studied at TU Delft and earned an M. Arch from ETSAB-UPC, and an M. Arch. II from Princeton University. She has lectured internationally on art, architecture and the importance of alternative practices in the construction and understanding of public life. At Storefront, her most recent projects include a new publication Series, exhibitions such as No Shame: Storefront for Sale or POP: Protocols, Obsessions, Positions, the launching of the Storefront International Series, commissioning major design projects such as the Speechbuster, and developing critical projects like the Competition of Competitions.
Ana Miljački: (Assistant Professor of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Miljački is a critic, curator and historian of architecture. She holds a Ph.D. in history and theory of architecture from Harvard University, an M.Arch. from Rice University, and a B.A. from Bennington College. Her research interests include architecture of the Cold War era Eastern Europe, theories of postmodernism in late socialism and politics of contemporary architectural production. Her research and curatorial practice Project_, in partnership with Lee Moreau, was one of the recipients of The Architecture League of New York Young Architects award for 2008 and a winner of the Boston Design Biennial in 2013. Her most recent exhibition work includes Fair Use: An architectural Timeline with students at MIT and Project_Rorschach for the Boston Design Biennial 2013.
Ashley Schafer (Editor, PRAXIS and Associate Professor of Architecture at The Ohio State University)
A writer, designer, and registered architect, Schafer has lectured and published her design work and critical essays internationally. She is cofounder and coeditor of the journal, PRAXIS. Under her direction, the journal has received critical acclaim as well as numerous grants, awards and honors, including an ID design award. Schafer is an associate professor at the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, where she previously served as the Head of the Architecture Department. Prior to her appointment in Ohio, she was an associate professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Schafer holds a BS Arch from the University of Virginia and her M.Arch from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
More info will soon be available at www.OfficeUS.org.