The overall curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia have announced the theme for the upcoming event.
Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects have titled the exhibition Freespace, describing it as “a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda.”
The curators explain the theme further by stating, “Freespace focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers.
Freespace celebrates architecture’s capacity to find additional and unexpected generosity in each project – even within the most private, defensive, exclusive or commercially restricted conditions.
“Freespace provides the opportunity to emphasise nature’s free gifts of light – sunlight and moonlight, air, gravity, materials – natural and manmade resources.
“Freespace encourages reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well-being and dignity of each citizen of this fragile planet.
“Freespace can be a space for opportunity, a democratic space, unprogrammed and free for uses not yet conceived. There is an exchange between people and buildings that happens, even if not intended or designed, so buildings themselves find ways of sharing and engaging with people over time, long after the architect has left the scene. Architecture has an active as well as a passive life.
“Freespace encompasses freedom to imagine, the free space of time and memory, binding past, present and future together, building on inherited cultural layers, weaving the archaic with the contemporary.”
The exhibition will showcase proposals and ideas of works, built or unbuilt, that exemplify the qualities of architecture. From sequences of movement to materialities in surface, the exhibition sets out to display a scale and spatial quality that will impact visitor, in turn communicating the impact and complexity that architecture can impart. Architecture that embodies the capacity to nurture and does so with generosity and a desire for exchange is what we call Freespace.
Australia will exhibit as part of the National Pavilions in the recently opened space designed by DCM and situated in the Giardini.
The exhibition is scheduled to take place from 26 May to 25 November 2018.
Lead image, the Arsenale, Venice.
Catch a Q&A with the 2016 creative directors of the Australian Pavilion, talking about The Pool.