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New and recent research by Weitzman faculty and students in the Department of Architecture will be featured at the curated and satellite events of the 18th Architecture Biennial in Venice. Among the exhibited works are designs that confront climate change by harnessing the power of plants and technology inspired by the flight of insects.
Archi-Tectonics, the firm led by Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and chair of architecture at Weitzman, is exhibiting Strange Objects. The installation features a large-scale 3D model and photo mural documenting the research that led to the 116-acre master plan for the 19th Asian Games, which includes 2 hybrid stadiums and 5 green auxiliary buildings. The installation is at the European Cultural Centre – Italy at Palazzo Bembo, Riva del Carbon #4793, 30124 Venezia, Italy.
The Asian Games complex was designed with 400,000 m2 of green roofs that release 520,100 kg of O2 while absorbing 715,000 kg of CO2 annually. The world’s second-largest international athletics competition after the Olympics, the Asian Games are set to take place in Gongshu District, Hangzhou, China from September 23 - October 8.
Also exhibiting at the Plazzo Bembo is Robert Stuart-Smith, an assistant professor of architecture who directs both the Autonomous Manufacturing Lab and the MSD-RAS program. The exhibit Towards an Additively Manufactured Architecture documents the Lab’s recent breakthroughs in aerial additive manufacturing—inspired in part by bees—that were recently published in Nature, and a series of speculative architectural projects that leverage this novel technology.
Ali Rahim, professor of architecture and director of the MSD-ADD program, and Hina Jamelle, associate professor of practice in architecture and director of urban housing in the Department of Architecture, are exhibiting recent work by their firm, Contemporary Architecture Practice, at two Biennale collateral events: the CityxVenice Virtual Pavilion and Metrotopia Metaverse.
The CityxVenice Virtual Pavilion exhibition captures future directions in architectural practice, research and educational projects by leading architecture firms, research teams, and schools of architecture. The Metrotopia Metaverse, conceived and designed by Zaha Hadid Architects & ArchAgenda, is a photorealistic multi-player virtual environment and communication hub dedicated to the global community of designers and the wider design ecosystem. Metrotopia will also present a series of related events during the Biennale.
Neri&Hu, the Shanghai-based firm led by Rossana Hu, recently named the next chair of the Department of Architecture, was selected for The Laboratory of the Future, curated by Lesley Lokko and organized by La Biennale di Venezia. “Central to all the projects is the primacy and potency of one tool: the imagination,” Lokko said. “It is impossible to build a better world if one cannot first imagine it. The Laboratory of the Future begins in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, where 16 practices who represent a distilled force majeure of African and Diasporic architectural production have been gathered. It moves to the Arsenale complex, where participants in the Dangerous Liaisons section–also represented in Forte Marghera in Mestre–rub shoulders with the Curator’s Special Projects, for the first time a category that is as large as the others. Threaded through and amongst the works in both venues are young African and Diasporan practitioners, our Guests from the Future, whose work engages directly with the twin themes of this exhibition, decolonisation and decarbonization.”
In addition to faculty projects, recent work by third-year graduate architecture students will be presented at Cityx. The work was produced for studios with Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and Chair of Architecture, and Richard Garber, lecturer in architecture; Ferda Kolatan, associate professor of architecture; Marion Weiss, Graham Professor of Practice; and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Paul Philippe Cret Visiting Professor.
For those who are unable to visit Venice in person, Weitzman is also represented in the Biennale publications. Ani Liu, professor of practice in the Department of Fine Arts, contributed an essay to the catalog for the US Pavilion, where the exhibition Everlasting Plastics explores the ubiquitous material “both literally and as a cultural metaphor.” Edited by curators Tizziana Baldenebro and Lauren Leving, the book will be published by Columbia University Press.
The 2023 Biennale is on view through November 26.