Alice in Wonderland – Swiss Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 opened to the public this past weekend and continues until 25 November 2018.

This year’s biennale is directed by the co-founders of Irish practice Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. The pair selected the title Freespace as the overarching theme for the event. Continue reading “Alice in Wonderland – Swiss Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2018”

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The Current State of Architecture

In the recently published book On Seen, Zoe Ryan presents the eleven most influential design and architecture exhibitions in the last 50 years. From This is Tomorrow to Massive Change: The Future of Global Design she identifies the key drivers such as expressive antidotes, new materials and conceptual work that made these exhibitions so important. Coming from a curatorial background she builds the case and sets the stage that historically:

Exhibitions have long played a vital role in making and remaking architecture and design history. They bring together key figures and bodies of work, position ideas and present arguments, shed light on current concerns, suggest future directions and draw connection with larger theoretical, political, and cultural conversation…Where within the fields of architecture and design, exhibitions have been critical to advancing ideas (13).

Within this context of making and remaking design history through exhibitions, the most famous and prestigious stage for the fields of architecture and design is the Venice Architecture Biennale which is considered “the Olympics for architecture, bringing together a global perspective” (Feuerman, The Conversation) around contemporary design. This is where the world gathers every two years to see what significant breakthroughs and innovations are propelling the industry forward.

Set in a “semi-abandoned shipyard and its adjoining garden…the Venice Architecture Biennale is a colossal exhibition comprised of one major installation by a significant architect, as well as a multitude of smaller shows put on by individual countries (known as the national pavilions)” (Jack Self, CNN).

Yet, in recent years there has been a dilemma with the Venice Architecture Biennale and the content being presented. President Paolo Baratta of La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) articulates this problem clearly in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale program book Reporting from the Front:

What is an architecture exhibition? And what should a Biennale Architecttura be? In La Biennale Arte, to which La Biennale Architettura is offspring, the works are right there on display before the visitors; with an architecture exhibition, the works are elsewhere. What should be represented here? This is indeed an ongoing quest (16).

 

V&A to salvage wreckage for Venice Architecture Biennale

A fragment of the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate salvaged from the demolition site by London’s V&A museum is to be transported to Italy and displayed at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.

The V&A acquired a three-storey section of the estate last year in addition to the fragment it will take to Venice when demolition work on the brutalist social housing estate began. Continue reading “V&A to salvage wreckage for Venice Architecture Biennale”

Zaha Hadid that Sh*t

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After seeing the many products that Zaha Hadid has designed for this year’s 2013 Salone del Mobile. A question came to my mind: Can these pieces actually fit in an interior designed by Zaha Hadid?

The following photo essay explores the age old question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? And does form really follow function?

Guangzhou Opera House, 2003-2010 + Serac bench, 2013

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Neil Barrett Shop in Shop, 2013 + Aria and Avia Chandeliers, 2013

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Roca London Gallery, 2009-20011 + Mercuric Tables, 2013

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Glasgow Riverside Museum of Transport, 2004-2011 + Gyre Chair, 2013

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Aura – Villa Malcontenta, 2008 + Crest Bench, 2013

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Is this a Zaha interior? Well, the Swash Cabinet is:)

Building after the Earthquake

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‘One of the first three models created. Taking a hint from the pine tress washed away by the tsunami, I consider creating a structure out of felled trees. I envision differentiating the space using not designed elements but the very ‘noise’ inherent in nature.’ – Akihisa Hirata, December 14, 2011

sou fujimoto discusses the japan pavilion from designboom on Vimeo.