Preview of AIA’s Venice Biennale exhibition

Jul 13, 2012
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

The Creative Directors of the Australian pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale have this week unveiled the first images of the projects that will be included in the exhibition.

Opening this August, Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture will facilitate discussion and debate around the changing role of architects and the ways in which they influence the world around them in the face of new economic, social and cultural challenges.

The exhibition will explore concepts that unite the architectural profession, building on the ‘Common Ground’ theme of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition set by its director, David Chipperfield. Workshops and informal discussions between international exhibitors and visitors will help form a program of events to run alongside the exhibition.

Creative Directors Anthony Burke and Gerard Reinmuth, who devised the exhibition with TOKO Concept Design, said: “It’s very exciting to see how the architectural profession is evolving, the new domains that are being explored and the vitality and variety of innovative architectural types that Australia seems to foster.

Formations highlights the range of unconventional and world-leading architectural practice types being developed across Australia, celebrating new opportunities for architects that are working in non-traditional and unexpected ways.”

The exhibition will showcase six architectural groups through a range of installations that aim to challenge traditional perceptions of what it is to be an architect.

2112 Ai's 100 Year City. Image courtesy of 2112 Ai: 100 YR City team


The 2112 Ai: 100 YR City team (Tom Kovac and Fleur Watson) will present a digital installation showcasing futuristic urban visions for the European Capital of Culture, the city of Maribor in Slovenia, exploring how external pressures on the profession will change the way cities are designed.

Archrival's 'Arena Calcetto'. Image courtesy of Archrival


Exhibitor team Archrival (Claire McCaughan and Lucy Humphrey) will present an informal meeting area, ‘Arena Calcetto’, featuring sculptural Foosball tables to enable discussion and engagement between pavilions and challenge international rivalry.

Healthabitat exhibition concept. Image courtesy of Healthabitat


Healthabitat (Paul Pholeros, Stephan Rainow and Paul Torzillo) will form a touring team, consulting local Venetians about ways to improve their homes and educating the public about connections between housing design and health issues.

Richard Goodwin's water taxi. Image courtesy of Richard Goodwin


Richard Goodwin will present a water taxi journey around the Giardini – extending the exhibition beyond the Australian Pavilion, providing new ways for the public to experience the Biennale and exploring the potential to create new public and private spaces.

supermanoeuvre's robotically fabricated sculptural installation. Image courtesy of supermanoeuvre


A complex robotically fabricated sculptural installation is to be presented by exhibitor team supermanoeuvre (Dave Pigram, Iain Maxwell and Chris Duffield), exploring the potential for ‘robot craftsmen’ and new technologies to change design methodologies.

Lastly, The Architects Radio Show (Stuart Harrison, Simon Knott, Christine Phillips and Rory Hyde) will be broadcast for the duration of the Vernissage, discussing a range of international architectural issues.

The Formations exhibition at the Australian Pavilion will be presented for press previews during the Vernissage on 27th – 28th August and will be open to the public throughout the Venice Architecture Biennale from 29th August – 25th November 2012.

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