An immaginative workshop at the Biennale di Venezia
Institutional Communication Service
16 July 2018
The versatile presence of the USI Academy of Architecture at the Biennale di Venezia 2018 is structured in particular around the exhibit The Practice of Teaching. This section is dedicated to the relationship between design and architecture teaching, which the curators of this edition, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (both professors at the Academy) have defined as “a key component in attending to the continuity of tradition in architecture”, in which “the world of making and building merges with the imaginative world”.
The section is organised by 13 USI professors through their respective ateliers, the works of which – on exhbit in Venice until November 25 – are here described and illustrated.
Atelier Aires Mateus
“We propose a reflection on space as an abstract element, materialized in a shapeless body, which recalls the idea of space without necessarily thinking of it as an interior but as an interaction between its limits and our perception”.
“In my work I attempt to explore the most engaging meanings of the relationship between student and teacher. So I chose to entrust the future of one of my projects to three young architects, my former students. A gesture that embodies the fundamental generosity that the profession of teaching should always contemplate: making a gift of one's own knowledge to others.”
“My contribution to the Venetian exhibition is a physical space that invites to ponder over the topography, light and culture of a territory: a decomposed cube invites you to "enter" into the gigantic maps of the territorial model of the “Città Ticino”.
“A sequence of images and statements representing the duality of practice – with projects by Bearth & Deplazes – and teaching – with suggestions devised by the students of the Academy of Architecture – are displayed within two intimate spaces”.
“In the practice of teaching, this atelier suggests experimental exercises that, through the contamination of other disciplines, give rise to reflections on the evolution of architecture. The works exhibited in Venice investigate through automatic movements the extreme condition of the Freespace.”
“Working on existing buildings identifies architecture as a fact, conceived by someone else. The starting point therefore is the logic defined by that ‘someone else’. Accordingly, our guidelines are the existing building and the rules it contains”.
“Our atelier deals with public spaces. An deserted dockland becomes a promenade, an abandoned fortress on a hill becomes the heart of public life in an urban landscape, technical environments previously fragmented are now a free space available for many other purposes.”
“Architecture consists mainly in the study of and work on inhabited spaces, to establish new relationships, that is influencing the surrounding environment. As interpreters of the history and memory of a community, architects should then be guided by the principle that their profession is to rewrite the ancient act of building in a modern key.”
“In Venice, the atelier presents a minimal, non-prescriptive environment, capable of adapting to any creative use by its occupants. And it offers a thought on the possible human reactions to a space open to free and unfettered appropriation.”
“The world of memories, experiences and interests is the basis of the architectural project. This universe is not composed of individual fragments, but is presented as a cultural fabric woven with the most diverse contents, a broad topography of thought.”
Atelier Nunes e Gomes
“Today's students, tomorrow’s designers of public spaces, freed from our mistakes and failures, succeed us in the mission of creating with us a construction that is made of time and space.”
“The Venetian installation consists of columns positioned as objects, the purpose of which is to create a more intense spatial experience. If from a distance the installation is perceived as an architectural object without a well-defined order, with the reduction of the distance it is transformed into an experience that constantly oscillates between two readings of space, one emotional, the other intellectual”.
“Two London filmakers – Bertie Miller and Dave Waters – produced a documentary shown in Venice, which on the one hand illustrates the work done over six months by the students of the Academy and on the other the professional activities of the Sergison Bates architecture studio. The film is an investigation into the relationship between teaching and practice through the concept of "process", an element common to both activities.”