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"Wood Framing is Both an Egalitarian and Open System": In Conversation with US Pavilion Curator Paul Andersen at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

"Wood Framing is Both an Egalitarian and Open System": In Conversation with US Pavilion Curator Paul Andersen at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale debuted last week, showcasing a diverse and inspiring array of possible answers to the question “How will we live together”. Despite the many hurdles inflicted by the pandemic, this year’s edition of the event broadens the scope and reach of the Biennale, restating its role as a platform for inquiry, exploration, and disruptive thinking in architecture. Archdaily had the opportunity to meet in Venice with one of the co-curators of the US Pavilion, architect, author, and University of Illinois professor Paul Andersen, to discuss the idea behind the Pavilion and how it reflects the overarching theme of the Biennale.

Newly commissioned furniture (six pieces in total, two of each design), designed by Norman Kelley for the United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul PreissnerModel 01: Snow Warehouse, 25” x 50” x 22 1/2”, designed by University of Illinois Chicago participating students for the United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul PreissnerAddition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul PreissnerAddition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner+ 14

One of the recurring themes explored at the Biennial is the value and future opportunities held by different local characteristics and building practices, often overlooked in architectural discourse. The US Pavilion highlights such a subject, showcasing the ubiquity and aesthetic power of wood-framed construction in American architecture through the exhibition American Framing. Stressing the established tradition of wood framing in the US and its egalitarian quality, in the interview with Archdaily, Andersen talks about the contemporary possibilities of generating a new kind of architecture using this construction practice so widespread in the United States.

Model 01: Snow Warehouse, 25” x 50” x 22 1/2”, designed by University of Illinois Chicago participating students for the United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Model 01: Snow Warehouse, 25” x 50” x 22 1/2”, designed by University of Illinois Chicago participating students for the United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner

The US Pavilion explores the historical development of the construction system, and the curator highlights the potential for future explorations that stems from the research underlining the exhibition. The open system and its great degree of versatility provide a tool for architectural experimentation and, as Andersen states, could potentially inspire architects to reconsider the contemporary value of the wood framing practice.


Related Article

The US Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale, Curated by Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, Explores Wood-Framed Construction in American Architecture

Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. Image © Co-Curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner

We invite you to check out ArchDaily's comprehensive coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, and watch our official playlist on Youtube featuring exclusive interviews with architects and curators of the Biennale.

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Cite: Andreea Cutieru. ""Wood Framing is Both an Egalitarian and Open System": In Conversation with US Pavilion Curator Paul Andersen at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale" 28 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/962480/wood-framing-is-both-an-egalitarian-and-open-system-in-conversation-with-us-pavilion-curator-paul-andersen-at-the-2021-venice-architecture-biennale> ISSN 0719-8884

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