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!