Weitzman News

Posted May 23, 2018
  • WEISS/MANFREDI, Lines of Movement, view of installation in progress

    Photo Tom Harris

  • Hybrid Urbanity, a project by faculty member Ferda Kolatan’s firm SU11 and graduate architecture students

WEISS/MANFREDI Unveils Immersive Installation at Venice Biennale

WEISS/MANFREDI, the New York-based design practice co-founded by Graham Chair Professor of Architecture Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, unveiled a new immersive installation Thursday in the main exhibition space at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. The installation, called Lines of Movement, “examines new terms and conditions for design in a century when natural resources are limited and challenged further by the interconnected issues of climate change and social isolation,” the firm wrote in a press release.

“In its curving, open form, shaped by two monumental crescents, Lines of Movement creates a space to consider the impact of architecture, landscape and infrastructure on the choreography of daily life,” the firm said. “Through the presentation of models, sectional studies, and films, Lines of Movement illuminates the fertile ground in the space between city and garden, art and ecology, and infrastructure and intimacy to create lasting public settings.”

The work features models of Weiss/Manfredi projects, including the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, and the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, presented alongside sectional studies of iconic works like the Galata Bridge in Istanbul and the Sydney Opera House. It also features four newly commissioned films projected inside the installation that will immerse visitors in the firm’s work, which also won this year’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum National Design Award for Architecture.

“Viewed in a continuous loop, these films invite viewers to inhabit Weiss/Manfredi’s topographical hybrid architecture and offer vistas of urban and natural beauty, engagement with urban infrastructures, and demonstrate that sites are not given, but constructed,” the firm said.

Produced with support from the Office of the Dean at PennDesign and Deedie Rose, the installation will be on display in the Corderie Building in the Arsenale through November 25. Weiss and her co-founder Michael Manfredi will also take part in the “School of Athens” symposium in the Greek Pavilion on Saturday, May 26, presenting from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.

The 2018 Biennale is curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of the Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects. Organized around the theme FREESPACE, the exhibition features 71 participating architects.

“We believe that everyone has the right to benefit from architecture,” Farrell and McNamara wrote in their manifesto. “The role of architecture is to give shelter to our bodies and to lift our spirits. A beautiful wall forming a street edge gives pleasure to the passer-by, even if they never go inside. So too does a glimpse into a courtyard through an archway; or a place to lean against in the shade or a recess which offers protection from the wind and rain. We are interested in going beyond the visual, emphasizing the role of architecture in the choreography of daily life.”

Weiss/Manfredi is not the only PennDesign-affiliated exhibitor at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Ferda Kolatan, associate professor of practice in the Department of Architecture and director of the firm SU11, will present a project called Hybrid Urbanity along with SU11 associate partner Hart Marlow, and 2017 PennDesign graduates Miguel Abaunza, Angela Huang, Emilija Landsbergis, Angeliki Mavroleon, Rosanna Pitarresi, and Alex Tahinos. The work is presented as part of an event organized by Tom Kovac called Iskandar Puteri 100YC on Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and Chair of Architecture at PennDesign, is represented by her firm Archi-Tectonics’s work Bottom up Design for Bogota: My Ideal City.

Kolatan is also curator of an exhibition entitled 12 Objects and 12 Images, which features studio work by PennDesign students, teaching assistants, and faculty members and explores the relationships between architectural objects and background images. To see the full list of participating students and read the curator’s statement, view the PennDesign calendar.

Finally, Dubbeldam was also a juror for The Plan Award 2018, which was presented in Venice Lido on May 23.