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Venice Biennale: The Latest Architecture and News

Carlo Ratti Appointed Curator of the 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia has just announced Carlo Ratti as the next curator of the International Architecture Exhibition. The 19th exhibition will take place in 2025, from May 24 to November 23. The appointment was recommended by President Roberto Cicutto, and has the support of Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, President of La Biennale di Venezia for the four-year term March 2024-2027.

A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia closed on November 26th. A total of 285,000 people visited the exhibition, making it the second most highly attended Architecture Biennale in its history. Named "The Laboratory of the Future," this edition led by curator Lesley Lokko, has been the first to focus on Africa and its diaspora, exploring the “fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe,” in the words of the curator, with themes of decolonization and decarbonization.

This edition has attracted a wide array of visitors, 38% of whom are represented by students and young people. Visitors organized in groups represented 23% of the overall public, with a large majority of groups coming from schools and universities. The numbers denote an event centered on the transmission of knowledge and circulation of ideas.

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On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

While exploring the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, the ArchDaily team had a chance to engage in conversation with several curators of the national pavilions, along with Lesley Lokko, the curator of the entire exhibition. The discussions delved into the unique character of this year’s edition focused on an understanding of Africa as a “Laboratory of the Future.” Through this lens, the biennale became “a healing experience,” in the words of Lesley Lokko, reinterpreting and deconstructing the meaning behind ideas such as decolonization, decarbonization, resource management, or finding the hidden potential in vernacular forms of practice.

Following Lokko’s curatorial direction, the exhibitions presented at the national pavilions explored the specific conditions of their territories, striving to uncover and highlight the unique challenges and opportunities faced by their local cultural landscapes. During the interviews, the curators opened up in regard to their personal inspirations and the drive behind the choice of program, the messages embedded in the displays, and their hopes for the future of the profession.

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“Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else:” In Conversation with the Curators of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale

During this year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, ArchDaily had the chance to discuss with Giacomo Ardesio and Claudia Mainardi of Fosbury Architecture, the curators of the Italian Pavilion together with Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri and Veronica Caprino. The curatorial project, titled “Spaziale: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else,” aims to provide a distinctive and original portrait of Italian architecture within the international context. The curators discussed the origins of their office, their sources of inspiration and the thinking behind the design decisions that led to the creation of the curatorial project for the Italian Pavilion.

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"A Wall is A Political Statement": Karin Sander on Co-Curating the Swiss Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale

At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Karin Sander, and Philip Ursprung curated the Swiss Pavilion “Neighbors”. In her interview with Louisiana Channel, Karin Sander talks about expanding the understanding of the pavilion, reimagining the connected role of architecture and art, and explaining her artistic process. “Neighbors” was focused on spatial proximity between the Swiss Pavilion and its Venezuelan neighbor. Sander highlights also the conversation between the two structures, that became possible after the removal of a separating wall.

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Stories from Beneath the Water: The Panama Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

Panama presented its pavilion on "Stories Beneath the Water" at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Aimée Lam Tunon and Jasper Zehetgruber, the exhibition explored themes of division and integration, with a focus on three different areas within the former Panama Canal Zone. It is an analysis that addresses issues of division and integration: Divisive architectural structures and systems; erased identities of submerged communities; and Barro Colorado Island, critically examining and questioning the overlaps between notions of protection and control.

"It’s the People Who Keep Buildings Alive": In Conversation with SO?, Curators for the Pavilion of Türkiye at the 2023 Venice Biennale

During their visit to the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, ArchDaily had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş, founders of the Istanbul-based studio SO? Architecture and Ideas, curators for the Pavilion of Türkiye. Their exhibition, titled Ghost Stories: Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture, explores the status and hidden potential of abandoned buildings across Türkiye to discover more hopeful proposals for the future. The conversations opened with an exploration of the status of these forgotten structures and their hidden potential, leading into the intentions behind the exhibition in Venice and the curator’s message for the wider audience.

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What Is an Architectural Curator?

In his book “Curation: The Power of Selection in a World of Excess,” Michael Bhaskar defines curation as “using acts of selection and arrangement (but also refining, reducing, displaying, simplifying, presenting, and explaining) to add value.” Originating from the Latin word curare, meaning to take care of, the curator’s role in dissecting our understanding of the world around us cannot be overlooked. Over time, as the definition morphs into different bodies, the practice of curation continues to evolve, filling the roles of caretakers of our built environment and thinkers of different forms for the overall bettering of society.

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In Search of Well-Tempered Architecture: The Pavilion of Slovenia Explores Energy Efficiency at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Pavilion of Slovenia set out to explore the theme of ecology and the paradoxical ways in which architecture relates to it. Instead of understanding it strictly through energy-efficient adaptations like heat pumps or recovery ventilation, the exhibition titled +/- 1 °C: In Search of a Well-Tempered Architecture aims to address the theme holistically. The Pavilion curators Jure Grohar, Eva Gusel, Maša Mertelj, Anja Vidic, Matic Vrabič, together with fifty European architects and creatives, researched and analyzed vernacular buildings from Europe to gain insight into the living example of intuitive adaptations.

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Foodscapes: A Journey into the Architectures that Feed the World

Foodscapes: Spain's Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, curated by Manuel Ocaña and Eduardo Castillo-Vinuesa, explores the Spanish agro-architectural context to address global issues. It analyzes the past and present of food systems and the architectures that construct them, in order to look towards the future and question other possible models that are capable of feeding the world without devouring the planet.

NEOM Showcases Its Designs for the Line at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, NEOM has unveiled the “Zero Gravity Urbanism- Principles for a New Livability” exhibition to present the concept and standards guiding the design of the Line, their proposed 170-kilometer-long linear city in north-west Saudi Arabia. The event aims to introduce to the public an alternative vision for urban planning whose compact configuration strives to become a model for the development of more efficient and sustainable cities. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, more than 20 internationally recognized architects and designers joined the design team, including Sir Peter Cook, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jean Nouvel, and Ben van Berkel. The exhibition is open from 20 May to 24 September 2023 at Abbazia di San Gregorio, Venice.

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The Unfolding Pavilion Investigates the Public Openness of the Giardini della Biennale in Venice

The Unfolding Pavilion is a recurring exhibition and editorial project by Daniel Tudor Munteanu and Davide Tommaso Ferrando that aims to highlight previously inaccessible but architecturally significant spaces. Now in its fourth edition, the exhibition is dedicated to the Giardini della Biennale, the Venetian garden that became the main location for one of the most important architecture exhibitions worldwide, the Venice Biennale. Through a series of site-specific interventions and photographs by Laurian Ghinițoiu, the Unfolding Pavilion #OPENGIARDINI set out to explore the paradoxical state of this public space that is not publicly accessible.

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Unbuild Together: In Conversation with Studio KO, the Curators of the Uzbekistan National Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale

Studio KO’s curation of the Uzbekistan Pavilion for the Venice Biennale is based on research, curiosity, workshopping, and experimenting with the senses. For over two years, the studio has worked alongside the Arts and Cultural Development Foundation, designing the Center for Contemporary Arts and their initiatives to restore and rehabilitate vernacular houses, transforming them into artist residencies. While exploring the 18th International Architecture Exhibition onsite in Venice, ArchDaily had the chance to speak with the founders of Studio KO, Karl Fournier, and Olivier Marty, curators of Uzbekistan National Pavilion. Their exhibition for this year’s theme, “The Laboratory of the Future,” focuses on the country’s rich heritage as a potential tool and inspiration for developing a more sustainable future.

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The Israel Pavilion Explores the Technological Cloud of Data Centers at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

The National Pavilion of Israel presents “Cloud-to-ground,” an immersive installation exploring the nature of modern communication networks at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition, curated by Arch. Oren Eldar, Arch. Edith Kofsky, and Hadas Maor, aims to initiate a multifaceted discussion regarding the physical aspects of virtual networks: the data centers and telephone exchanges commonly referred to as “black boxes.” The chosen theme is relevant for Israel due to its strategic location set at the intersection of continents and cultures. The pavilion in the Giardini will remain open for visitors until November 26, 2023.

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The Philippines Pavilion Employs Urban Acupuncture to Address the Flawed Ecology of Manila at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Philippines Pavilion presents an exhibition that investigates the ecology and social implication of the Tripa de Gallina estuary in Manila. The body of water, once a mechanism for flood mitigation, has now become congested and polluted, affecting the lives of the nearby communities. The Pavilion aims to present the initiative that set out to gather and investigate the guts of the estuary and to work with the residents to find adequate and sustainable architectural solutions. Titled “Tripa de Gallina: Guts of Estuary,” the exhibition in Venice is co-curated by Architect Choie Funk and Sam Domingo and presents the work of the Architecture Collective, represented by Bien Alvarez, Matthew Gan, Ar. Lyle La Madrid, Noel Narciso and Arnold Rañada.

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Shininess Explored: Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation's Installation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Office for Political Innovation, led by Andrés Jaque, collaborated with a network of activists and community representatives from Xholobeni (South Africa), experts in seismographs and transduction from Poland, researchers, sound editors, and prop makers to bring a research-based installation at the Arsenale of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale. Titled ‘XHOLOBENI YARDS. Titanium and the Planetary Making of SHININESS / DUSTINESS,’ the intervention addresses architecture’s problematic fascination with shininess.

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