Mies. TV: Alternative Coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale

Courtesy of Mies. TV

In June of this year seven architecture students came together to film the vernissage of the Venice Biennale. Undaunted by the unrelenting Venetian sun and the prospect of being faced by some of the world’s greatest living architects and curators, the team – spanning four nationalities – spent three days feverishly talking to anyone and everyone (in between pasta and espresso breaks). Having built up a comprehensive picture of the opening days of the Biennale in a series of short, uninhibited filmed interviews, Mies. TV proudly presents their alternative, slightly shaky coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Watch short interviews with the likes of Jacques Herzog (Herzog + de Meuron), Daniel Libeskind, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Wolf D. Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au), Sam Jacob (FAT), and ArchDaily’s very own Editor-in-Chief – David Basulto - after the break.

Bernard Tschumi On His Education, Work and Writings

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In this extended  between Bernard Tschumi and The Architectural Review’s Paul Finch, the pre-eminent Swiss-born architect discusses his education, writing, design and wider critical position. Speaking candidly, Tschumi explains how a visit to Chicago when he was seventeen years old sparked a life-long passion for architectural design - something that had been somewhat repressed due to his father who was, at that time, one of the world’s most highly respected architects. His friendship with British architect and theorist Cedric Price led to the start of a career that saw his proposals for Paris’s Parc de la Villette foreshadow the age of Deconstructivism. Ending with his take on the future of the profession, Tschumi also offers advice to students and young practices looking to make their mark.

Video: House Housing – “An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate”

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House Housing, “An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes”, was recently exhibited at Columbia University’s Casa Muraro in Venice. Staged as an “open house” organised and funded by the Buell Center, the exhibition responded unsolicited to Rem Koolhaas’s call to exhibitors at the 2014 Venice Biennale to focus on Fundamentals by exploring housing in nineteen “discrete episodes.” In narrating these episodes, brought together from across the last one hundred years in a mixture of domestic media, the exhibition brought together a collection of excerpts from global processes.

Video: Charles Jencks on the 2014 Venice Biennale

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In this extended interview by the Architectural Review, Charles Jencks provides an in-depth description of the 2014 Venice Biennale and critiques his former student Rem Koolhaas’ overall curation and theme: Fundamentals.

Arguing that the previous thirteen Biennales have, “more or less, tried to predict what is going to happen over the next five years,” ”Rem Koolhaas has changed the paradigm:” Rem’s Biennale is about “the past of the present”. Jencks, who describes Koolhaas as ”the Corbusier of our time”, suggests that his Biennale is about analysis rather than total synthesis. He has, however, “shown that research can be creative.”

Sarah Sze’s 2013 U.S. Venice Biennale Installation Coming Home

Wood, steel, plastic, stone, string, fans, overhead projectors, photograph of rock printed on Tyvek, mixed media at Triple Point (Planetarium), 2013. Image courtesy of Sarah Sze, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging

Is that rock inside or outside? Wait, is it even a rock? If not, then what is it? As bizarre as these questions may seem, they are the exact ones Sarah Sze wanted people to ask themselves when visiting her Triple Point (Planetarium) exhibit in the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Sze, whose work tends to distort the viewer’s perception of reality, “transformed the U.S. Pavilion into a chain of immersive experiences through a series of interrelated installations.”

Although the project was specifically designed to engage the Neoclassical Pavilion, part of it will be on display at the Bronx Museum of the Arts from July 3rd through August 24th of this year. For more on the artist and the exhibit, keep reading after the break.

Sverre Fehn’s Drawings for Venice’s Nordic Pavilion To Be Exhibited in Oslo

© Ferruzzi

Norwegian architect and Pritzker Laureate Sverre Fehn’s original drawings for the Nordic Pavilion in Venice are to be presented alongside Ferruzzi’s monochromatic photographs of the building in an at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Venice: Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion documents the incredible task undertaken by Fehn who, at the age of thirty-four, won the competition to design the pavilion and subsequently won international acclaim when the building was completed in 1962.

Venice Biennale 2014: “Towards A New Avant-Garde” Explores the Emergence of a New Generation of Radical Italian Design

© Philippe Declerck /

Writing about radical architects from the 1960s and 70s, the acerbic American critic Michael Sorkin wrote: “Some chose the resistance of advocacy planning and community defense, carrying on the identification with the oppressed. Many took to the woods, back to nature, to study communitarianism and to live a life of virtuous simplicity. Others wondered about the architectural equivalent of rock and roll.” Replace communitarianism with open source, or rock and roll with science fiction, and he could just as well be describing a group of young Italian architects working today. The practitioners of the 1970’s, especially in Italy, transformed their profession but ultimately failed to realize their utopias. What might this new generation achieve?

Towards a New Avant-Garde, an installation and series of discussions at the opening weekend of the Architecture Biennale, will confront the work and approaches of past masters like Superstudio, Archizoom, and the Global Tools group with new, speculative, and politically-charged projects by groups like Itinerant Office, IRA-C, and Snark.

Have We Reached the “End of Architecture”?

Biennale 2014 / Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 . Image © . Image Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

This year’s Venice Biennale, curated by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas, is “interested in the banal”. In an article in the Financial Times’, Edwin Heathcote discusses the paradox between exploring generic modernism at an event which celebrates the individual. Heathcote raises interesting questions about the extent to which world architecture has developed in modernity, ultimately arguing that, “in a way, architecture is over.” You can read the article, which neatly investigates the curatorial rationale behind this year’s Biennale, in full here.

Happy Birthday Aldo Rossi

Pritzker Prize Winner Aldo Rossi . Image Courtesy of museionline

Ada Louise Huxtable once described him as “a poet who happens to be an architect.”  Today Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) would have turned 83 years old.

Known for his drawings, urban theory, and for winning the Pritzker Prize (in 1990), Rossi also directed the Venice Biennale in 1985 and 1986 — one of only two who have served as director twice.

Rossi’s design theory evolved from a wide range of influences: from architect and theorist Adolf Loos, to early Italian , to surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. His book, L’architettura della città (The Architecture of the City), is to this day considered a pioneering work in urban theory.  The book argues that architects should be sensitive to urban/cultural context, making use of historical design precedent rather than trying to reinvent typologies. In practice, Rossi was unquestionably the master of his own theoretical approach, as evidenced by one of his most famous works, the San Cataldo Cemetary in Modena.

His legacy is still alive in Italy and around the world. In fact, Italian firm San Rocco, recently named inaugural Emerging Architecture Firm of the Year, is named after an un-built housing project by Rossi.

To better understand Aldo Rossi and his work, we suggest reading our AD Classic on San Cataldo Cemetary as well as checking out the buildings featured below.

5 Ways Koolhaas’ Biennale Will Be Different From the Rest

Paolo Baratta and Rem Koolhaas. © Giorgio Zucchiatti. Image Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

As Rem Koolhaas completes the introductory press circuit for the 2014 Venice Biennale, we’re learning more about one of the most anticipated Biennales in recent memory. Here’s what we’ve gleaned from Oliver Wainwright’s revealing story in today’s Guardian:

1. Koolhaas has been asked to direct the Biennale before, but hasn’t accepted until now. “I have been asked to direct it a number of times before, but I held out for two conditions: that I have a year and a half to plan it, and that I can sever all connections with contemporary architecture – which is not in particularly good health.”

Call for Participation: Use-ReUse Adaptive Modernism

The Use-ReUse Adaptive Modernism Workshop will be held on June 7, 2014, during the opening day of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. It will be part of the ‘Biennale Sessions 2014‘, Biennale’s University Programme, a forum for universities. Its purpose is to suggest a wide range of perspectives on the contemporary significance of modernisms built legacy, within the context of the contemporary urban landscape.

The workshop, curated by Dean Carmella Jacoby Volk, Arch. Shelly Cohen, and Arch. Rebecca Sternberg, will consist of brief 10 minutes presentations in various media surrounding research, conceptual projection, art, video, photography, virtual poster and architectural planning.

If you’re interested in participating, please submit a short abstract (250-300 words) in English focusing on adaptive re-use for modernist architecture to design4u@hdq.colman.ac.il. Submission deadline is March 31.

Koolhaas Reveals Title for 2014 Venice Biennale

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At a presentation in Italy this morning, Rem Koolhaas announced that the title of the 2014 will be “Fundamentals.” According to Domus magazine’s live-tweeting of the eventKoolhaas wants this Biennale, which he will curate, to use historical research to explore how Modernity and globalization has, since 1914, formed the architecture we practice today. The Biennale will focus on the erasure of national architectural identities and the formation, over the last 200 years, of a global architecture which produces, in Koolhaas’ words, “the same stuff, with the same materials, in the same styles. How did this happen?” 

Read more about Koolhaas’ 2014 Biennale topic, after the break…

Rem Koolhaas To Direct 2014 Venice Biennale

© Dominik Gigler

It seems the rumors were true. The Biennale’s board has just confirmed that will be the Director for the next Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 (to take place June 7th to November 23rd).

There’s no word yet of the theme that will be chosen. Koolhaas has only commented that: “We want to give a new look to the basic elements of architecture – used by any architect, anywhere and at any time – to see if we can discover something new about architecture.”

The 2012 Biennale, curated by David Chipperfield, who chose “Common Ground” as the theme, was characterized by collaboration and socially-oriented projects (which stole the show). If Koolhaas’ radical leanings and adventurous design sensibilities are anything to go by, the 2014 Biennale will probably push the envelope even further.

Revisit our coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale and read more about Rem Koolhaas, including our popular editorial and an essay written by former New York Times architecture critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff.

Story via Venice Biennale and bd online 

Koolhaas to be the Biennale’s next Director?

Rem Koolhaas © Dominik Gigler

Hot on the heels of the Jencks Award, yet another accolade is rumored to be coming Rem Koolhaas‘ way. The claims are flying about the twitterverse: OMA’s Koolhaas will be the next Director of the .

Dezeen first reported the story after reading a tweet by the Biennale’s current Assistant Director to David Chipperfield, Kieran Long (Long’s also the architecture critic for London’s Evening Standard as well as the former Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Review/The Architect’s Journal). You can read the tweet for yourself below:

Of course, it’s all still rumors at this point, but we’ll keep you updated of any developments in the story.

Story via Dezeen