- Article by Elisa Scarton
Victorian architects Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway will be responsible for our pavilion at next year’s Venice Architecture Biennale with their project In| between.
Greenaway is the director of the eponymous practise, an academic, design advocate and a regular design commentator on ABC Radio Melbourne, while Wong is a director at SJB.
Together with architectural anthropologist Elizabeth Grant, writer/producer Tim Ross, designer Aaron Puls and graduate of architecture Jordyn Milliken, the duo addresses the exhibition’s theme ‘How Will We Live Together?’ with a series of powerfully optimistic works that foreground agency, deep listening, Indigenous knowledge and connection to context.
The pavilion sets out to create an immersive experience of country, language and diversity, including articulated spaces that speak to our neighbours, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Central to those spaces will be an opportunity for pause, contemplation and reflection.
The project has been applauded for its recognition and sharing of ideas between Australian design and nearby island nations, and both Wong and Greenaway are keen to show how architecture can become an enabler to connect, reveal layers of history and memory and give cultural expression. The goal behind the pavilion is to highlight the power of architecture to build connections and understanding between First Nation cultures not just in Australia, but across the entire Pacific region.
The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale will be curated by US architect Hashim Sarkis and will feature permanent pavilions from 29 countries. Australia’s 2018 pavilion, a collaboration between architects Baracco+Wright and artist Linda Tegg, carefully grew more than 10,000 wild grasses from seedlings and included endangered native species to create a tiny eco-system complete with live frogs. The exhibit, titled Repair, focused on changing our relationship with the environment.
Wong and Greenaway’s In| between was chosen ahead of two other shortlisted projects, -15 degrees: Raising Albedo: Cooling Cities, which responded to the impacts of climate change by demonstrating the heat mitigation strategies being used to reduce surface temperatures in Darwin, and Project<Public by architect Matthew Pullinger and ThenewDemocracy Foundation co-founder Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, a photographic and interactive exhibit centred on the idea of the citizen jury and how this might impact the design of our cities into the future through the live case study being employed by the City of Sydney.
The Venice Architecture Biennale will run from 23 May to 29 November next year.