David Basulto to Curate Nordic Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

The Nordic Pavilion, representing Finland, Norway and Sweden, has selected David Basulto as curator for their exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Responding to Biennale director Alejandro Aravena's theme for the 2016 event, Reporting from the Front, the exhibition organized by Basulto and the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) will use Nordic architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture as "a springboard" to understand the future challenges which architecture and the built environment will face. The announcement is accompanied by an open call for completed projects that address these challenges. Selected projects will be displayed in the Sverre Fehn-designed pavilion at the Venice Biennale from May 28th to November 27th 2016.

David Basulto. Image © Matti Östling/ArkDes

Pavilion Theme

The exhibition will "shine a psychoanalytical, inward light on Nordic society through architecture," explained Basulto, "helping to formulate the questions that can help us to reflect on and understand this particular moment in Nordic architecture in order to propose a direction to advance towards its full potential."

"Using Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as an analytical and observational lens, the exhibition will explore and investigate the projects that have been instrumental in constructing contemporary Nordic society and, from this analysis, discuss the questions that society and architecture need to find solutions to in order to progress."

Basulto is a Chilean architect and co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of ArchDaily and its network of sites in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. He has lectured in institutions around the world including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Sao Paulo's Escola do Cidade, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and the Strelka Institute in Moscow, and has acted as curator and editor for a number of exhibitions and magazines, and as a jury member for multiple competitions and awards. Earlier this year, he moderated at the 2015 Alvar Aalto Symposium in Helsinki.

James Taylor-Foster will be assisting Basulto in the curation of the pavilion.

Open Call

The announcement of Basulto as curator is accompanied by an open call for projects to be included in the exhibition. The aim will be to showcase projects of architecture, urbanism or landscape architecture from Finland, Norway and Sweden that "have shaped (or are shaping) society and have aided (or are aiding) in the process of understanding collective upcoming challenges." The projects showcased will belong to one of three categories:

  1. Foundational: Architecture that cares for basic needs, such as shelter, healthcare, and educational. Having distilled and refined these core typologies, projects in this category stand as examples to other nations.
  2. Belonging: Architecture which enacts public programs and creates public space in which society gathers; the places where individuals become citizens and relate to one another. This includes sacred (religious spaces), civic (institutional, cultural and recreational), workplace (office and retail), and infrastructural projects.
  3. Recognition: Architecture that recognizes the specific processes in Nordic society and its values as manifested in monuments and memorials. As the embodiment of a highly developed nation, projects that fall into this category have a reflective position on society and highlight its latent values (including projects which engage with the natural landscape).

Projects must have been completed during or after 2008, and should be submitted by January 17th to www.arkdes.se along with the following information:

  1. Which of the 3 categories above the project belongs to.
  2. 3 photos (hi-resolution, .jpg/.png format) with credits (up to 25mb in total). By submitting this form you consent to ArkDes using this material in the exhibition.
  3. Descriptive text (no more than 300 words) which is clear and explanatory.
  4. Data sheet (team, year, exact location/address of project).
  5. How has this project contributed to the current condition of Nordic society? (no more than 150 words)

Questions about the open call should be sent to karin.abergwaern@arkdes.se.

About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "David Basulto to Curate Nordic Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale" 03 Dec 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/778232/nordic-pavilion-selects-david-basulto-as-curator-at-venice-biennale-2016> ISSN 0719-8884

The Nordic Pavilion in Venice, designed by Sverre Fehn in 1960. Image © Feruzzi


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