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The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) has appointed Anthony Burke and Gerard Reinmuth as Co-Creative Directors for the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Burke and Reinmuth’s exhibition proposal, entitled ‘Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture’ and submitted with graphic designers TOKO, will “challenge traditionally held beliefs about what architecture can be, and celebrate new opportunities for architects working in non-traditional ways”.
The exhibition, which will be on show inside the Australian Pavilion at the 13th Venice International Architecture Biennale, will feature the projects of architects working in non-traditional ways and domains – applying their architectural expertise to fields including robotic fabrication, government policy and indigenous housing.
Reinmuth, Professor of Practice at UTS and director of TERROIR, said of the team’s concept: “By exploring innovative practice types and their design output, the exhibition will provoke discussion around issues of the future of the profession and the kind of problems architects are becoming involved with.”
Burke, Associate Professor and Head of the School of Architecture at UTS and director of Offshore Studio, said the exhibition will explore “the vitality and variety of innovative architectural types that Australia seems to foster”.
‘Formations’ will examine the influences shaping the built environment, and the ways in which architects are responding to these influences and thinking more broadly about their role, posing the question: “Is it possible to think of the architect as just ‘one thing’ any more?”
The pavilion will be transformed into a “soft landscape of connections and possibilities,” and will be complemented by a series of “flash formations”: free, informal and intimate public events around Venice enabling visitors to meet some of Australia’s most innovative architectural practices and commentators.
Venice Biennale Commissioner Janet Holmes à Court said of the appointment: “As countries around the world continue to struggle with economic uncertainty and instability, it is vital that Australia maximises every opportunity to reinforce the nation’s competitive strengths and standing on the world stage.
“I have every confidence that the appointment of our 2012 Creative Director team affords us a great head-start in the promotion of the nation’s incredibly rich and diverse architectural talent.”
The Institute received 27 submissions for the role of Creative Director after it advertised the position in May this year. The winning concept was selected from a shortlist of five teams, beating other entries from Amelia McPhee and Andrew Maynard; Jan van Schaik, Cameron Bruhn and Andy Sargent; Robert Grace and team; and Rory Hyde and Kate Rhodes with Justine Clark.