Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture and its Affects / Farshid Moussavi

© Nico Saieh

Continuing our coverage of the Venice Biennale, London-based Farshid Moussavi’s installation at the Arsenale explored different experiences within everyday life and culture that are the result of architecture accepting certain “common grounds.” Entitled ‘Architecture and its Affects’, viewers were surrounded by changing projections of textures and patterns, structural configurations and facades, which were organized in such a manner as to highlight their affects, rather than their chronological existence or historical references.

More about Architecture and its Affects after the break.

Stemming from Moussavi’s Harvard seminar publications (Function of Ornament, Function of Form and the forthcoming Function of Style), the projects projected on the walls of the installation portray the diversity of affects generated while working within common elements, such as building envelopes, structural systems or building typologies.

© Patricia Parinejad

The affects provide the “ground” condition through which architecture engages with life and culture.  Rather than divulging in the historical search for understanding the meaning of such a “ground” condition, Moussavi’s installation is more interested in the affects resulting from people’s aesthetic perceptions.  “Whereas meanings are dependent on an individual’s biographical background, affects are pre-personal intensities of built forms. They are solely the consequence of how built forms are assembled: the systems and technology used, where and for what purpose,” explained Moussavi.

© Jonathan Ascelsa

“Though built forms incorporate different material and intellectual contents, these meld together into novel sensory forms which, once created, are what they are. They have no cognitive content in their actuality. They are just formal and their ‘meaning’ depends on their affects and each individual’s perception of them. Affects are therefore the aspect of forms through which architects influence – without determining and limiting – people’s experience,” explained the architect.

© Nico Saieh

The installation continues Moussavi’s strong showing at the Biennale; back in 2004, Moussavi was awarded the Lion Award for Topography at the 9th Biennale.

© Emory Smith


© Nico Saieh

Exhibition concept: Farshid Moussavi

Installation: Alvaro Fernandez with Phillipe Dufour-Feronce, Paniz Peivandi and Drew Cowdrey

FMA would like to thank the following individuals who have been involved in the publications: Michael Kubo, Zenin Adrian, Dubravko Bacic, Matthew Bennet, David Brown, Carol Chang, Soohyun Chang, Dan Clark, Joshua Dannenberg, Lucie Boyce Flather, j. Seth Hoffman, Fred Holt, Zhya Jacobs, Sharon Ki, Michelle Lee, Guy Nahum, Peter Niles, Raha Talebi, Aikaterini Tryfonidou, Sebatian Velez, Chee Xu,  Matthew Bennet, Sina Momtaz, Ahmadreza Schricker, Daniel Lopez, Garrick Ambrose, Bryan Boyer,  Adriel Mesznik, D Karnik, Matthew Allen, Lily Huang, Heien Han, Annie Barrett, Elizabeth Lovett, Jeffrey Olinger, Brian Wei Heng Yang, Ben Fortunato, Saba Zahedi, Saba, Saghafi Moghaddam, Omidreza Bayat, Mina Rafee, Jonathan A. Scelsa, David Turturo, Iman Ansari, Abraham Alucio, Jennifer French, Jian Huang, Mais Al Azab, Nicole Huang, Di Xia, Xiong Xing, Zhou Shi, Kennan Rankin, Andreas Viglakis, Trey Kirk, Jessica Knobloch, Michael Jen, Hallie Chen, Kurt Niemenin, Ashkan Sedigh, Ricardo Solar, Mark Rukamathu, Ghazal Abassy, Dammy Lee, Drew Cowdrey, Monica Earl, Marco Ciancerella, Jose Cifuentes, Didar Hussein, Ryan Ludwig

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Cite: Nico Saieh. "Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture and its Affects / Farshid Moussavi" 04 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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