There was SO much to see at the Venice Biennale ~ as usual, so much running around and so many details to take in… so beyond the features we’ve shared with you thus far (wire bending robots, Israeli Aircraft Carrier Shop, architectural model projection mapping, Russian QR code madness, amazing, colorful model in the Hong Kong space, Kipnis’ Field Of Dreams, the recycled wine bottle roof, and the incredible hydroponic floating plant system!) there have been tons of pictures left… so on the next page you can see a burst of the random inspiration encountered while exploring it all!
Entries tagged with: Venice Architecture Biennale
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It was an awesome surprise to step into the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale and see a robot wire-bending installation by my old professor, Dave Pigram! He and Iain Maxwell of Supermanoeuvre collaborated with Wes Mcgee from Matter Design Studio and together set out to design a wire-bent sculpture specifically for the pavilion. The installation begins on the lower level of the pavilion and spans all the way to the ceiling. As you get closer you notice intricate details of how it all fits together and can’t help but marvel at the precision.
Before bending each rod, curves are drawn and analyzed on the computer. Those 3D curves are then digitally interpreted to tell the robot how to move and what to do. The wire bender and the robot arm work together, rotating, grabbing, and bending each vertex. Since robotic fabrication is extremely precise and the makeup of the steel can vary, the result is a near perfect physical manifestation of the digital model. Once each rod is completed, larger chunks are assembled from the individual pieces. They use small tack welds to hold the assemblies in place. The designers and fabricators wrote custom software, made unique hardware, and are actively redefining the way we design and make things. Take a look at the Australian Pavilion installation as well as the robots in action on the next page!
The Israeli Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale was turned into a fully functioning capitalist “concept shop” filled with cheeky goods you can actually purchase. As they state in the catalog “In this exhibition, one enters a concept store, selling custom-made objects that relate to specific events in the relationship between the United States and Israel. The store embodies a retail experience that is in itself a product of American influences, prompting the public to participate in a live installation. Upon ascending to the upper level, one finds that the store’s objects become a field of historical, cultural, and economic background events in which four architectural phenomena are immersed.” You can find out more about their project through their twitter and tumblr. The products themselves are amusingly designed, packaged and presented in the store and upstairs presentation ~ take a peek at the products, displays and catalog on the next page.
Another Venice Architecture Biennale inspiration i’m surprised we didn’t see more of ~ projection mapping on architectural models! It really brings them to life as you see cars driving on the roads to shadows cast by the buildings moving as the daylight comes and goes… we spotted this one in the Spain Lab’s Cloud 9 project room. See the video and more pictures on the next page to see how effective it was!
More Venice Architecture Biennale fun ~ I-City at the Russian Pavilion is a multi-room QR code experience. The exhibit was designed by SPEECH and Valode & Pistre and curated by Sergei Tchoban. The floors, walls, and ceilings are covered in QR codes providing a mesmerizing effect. Upon entering you are handed a Samsung tablet, and told to point and shoot at the illuminated QR codes. When you click the photo of one you are presented with work from David Chipperfield, SANAA, OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, Stefano Boeri, SPEECH, and Mohsen Mostafavi among others. In all honesty, it was as fun to wander around the rooms and watch people trying to watch the QR code content as it was to view the content itself. The walls and ceilings were backlit matte black powder coated metal QR codes, and the floors were etched reflective metal panels. It was a completely trip to experience… see lots of fun pics on the next page!
It was hard not to get drawn in to the Hong Kong space across from the entrance of the Arsenale at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The amazing little courtyard filled with wooden edible garden planters beneath the old grape vine covered trellis… and inside, amongst the many projects… we found the most spectacularly colorful and detailed world of a model for Imaginary City Kai Tak by CAVE architecture design studio. From the mini flying cars to cow farms to dragons to card playing old guys and more, there were endlessly fascinating little details worked into the model!
They describe the project ~ “By reversing the conventional methodology of masterplanning CAVE speculates an Imaginary Kai Tak by firstly exploring the local stories, maps, photographs and cultural events before the process of zoning. Six narratives are inspired by qualities drawn from these events which are then further developed into six device systems. The device systems are embodied as residential blocks, a transport hub, agriculture green space, a cultural retail hub, a government complex and multi-functional units. These systems function collaboratively to compose a city that resolves the needs for a speculative future of Kai Tak (where Hong Kong is under global environmental threat) whilst simultaneously preserving the shared memories and qualities of South East Kowloon. This project was commissioned by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and exhibited in the 2012 Venice Biennale.” The details can’t be missed ~ see it all on the next page!
One of the most visually inspiring projects at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year was undeniably The Piranesi Variations. As ArchDaily concisely explains, “Peter Eisenman has formed a team to revisit, examine and reimagine Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 folio collection of etchings, Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Derived from years of fieldwork spent measuring the remains of ancient Roman buildings, these six etchings depict Piranesi’s fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like and represent a landmark in the shift from a traditionalist, antiquarian view of history to the scientific, archaeological view.” Four variations emerged for the display from Eisenman Architects, students from Yale University, Jeffrey Kipnis with his colleagues and students of the Ohio State University, and Belgian architecture practice, Dogma.
Jeffrey Kipnis and the Ohio State University group’s presentation and visual language were so mesmerizing, i simply had to dive in to the details to share with you… On the next page you can see how their bold black and white (with a splash of gold) graphics and model pull you right in like a graphic novel… and as you get closer you start noticing the every day materials used - from rolling hills of drinking straws, to (penis and other more traditional shaped) pasta painted black, blocks creating cranes, frolicking/fighting human like creatures, and more. As they take you from heaven down to the known world and into the chaotic depths of hell ~ introducing you to the characters - buildings, both traditional reinterpretations and newer ones from “Captain Dust and the League of Happy Gentlepersons” ~ you can’t help but ponder the possibilities of what it all means, but first, jump into the fascinating tiny details of their presentation on the next page!
Another Venice Architecture Biennale discovery ~ architect, Anupama Kundoo, has an interesting way of using recycled materials for construction and a fascinating system of Terracotta Interlocking Tubes (“Hollow burnt clay tubes are stacked to achieve catenary vaults that require no structural steel. Substructure such as wooden rafters in terracotta roof tile applications are redundant as the system is self supporting. Neither is shuttering required. This leads to an insulated roof based on locally produced materials and quick assembly.” ~ when you combine recycled materials like cut wine bottles with her tube stacking style, she has created an interesting way to create a glass roof made of wine bottles! And the shadows are beautiful too! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Currently in Venice exploring the Architecture Biennale, and on memorable projects, AL AIRE (between air) was designed by architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano of Selgascano (see their bio) along with biologist Joesp Selga and Agronomist Juan Laureano, in the Spain Lab definitely sticks in my mind!
The installation was designed specifically for the Spanish Pavilion’s solar conditions. It maximizes the exposure to each plant tube by taking advantage of a terraced effect. Since each tube is also on a pulley, adjustments are easy. Even the trees can move up and down to accommodate for growth, giving them a great effect of floating. Every tube has a drip irrigation system that delivers water directly to the plants root system, maximizing efficiency and preserving resources.
The perforated material isn’t just aesthetic, it is designed to get light to the roots of the plants as well as air and space to grow. When the roots grow towards the light and reach the edge of the plastic tube, the cones guide the roots through the hole. This leads to a subtle dehydration of the root system which encourages lateral root growth. Basically when the root gets to the edge of the soil it begins branching from its base. The result is a very robust, fibrous root system.
The system is so fun, i’d love to see how it handles over time ~ take a peek at all of the details on the next page!