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  3. Venice Biennale 2012: Spontaneous Interventions / USA Pavilion

Venice Biennale 2012: Spontaneous Interventions / USA Pavilion

Venice Biennale 2012: Spontaneous Interventions / USA Pavilion
© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The jury of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded the United States pavilion a “Special Mention” for it’s innovative installation, titled Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Curated and commissioned by Cathy Lang Ho, along with David Van Der Leer and Ned Cramer, the exhibition presents 124 socially-minded urban interventions that have brought immediate improvements to the public realm.

Brooklyn-based practice Freecell collaborated closely with the Sausalito-based design studio M-A-D, led by Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane, to design a kinetic system of color-coded banners, weights and pulleys, that showcase each urban intervention. Learn more after the break.

Each project is presented on suspended banner and graphically represented by a colorful bar code. The width of each stripe represents the prevalence of the following categories in regards to each project: information (blue), accessibility (orange), community (pink), economy (light green), sustainability (dark green) and pleasure (blue).

As visitors pull down each banner to learn the specifics of a project, a black square counterweight, etched with an urban issue, lifts along the wall and reveals a solution to the problem. Ranging in scale from guerrilla pathways to larger structures, all the interventions are realized by the public on either a paid or volunteer basis. Refer to our previous coverage to learn more about each participant and the important issues covered by this exhibition.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Additionally, M-A-D developed an integrated infographic that covers the floor and provides a historical timeline to the American city and urban activism, while a video directed by Kelly Lourdenberg reveals the aspirations of each participant.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

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About this author
Karissa Rosenfield

See more:

Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Venice Biennale 2012: Spontaneous Interventions / USA Pavilion" 30 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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