New US Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale Targets Detroit

US Pavilion 2012.
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For the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, the US has selected the Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan to organize its pavilion.

Slated to open next year, the US exhibit, titled, “The Architectural Imagination,” will be curated by Monica Ponce, Taubman’s Dean, and Cynthia Davidson, executive director of New York non-profit Anyone Corporation. With a special focus on Detroit, the show will invite 12 architects or firms to create new works for sites around the industrial Midwestern city.

Each new work will “demonstrate the creativity and resourcefulness of architectural teams challenged to address urban and environmental issues in the 21st century city,” reads a statement on the Taubman College website.

“We proposed to do an exhibition of all-new work in order to bring discussion of architecture back to the table, versus a pure discussion of urbanism,” Davidson told Architectural Record.

While details of the project have not yet been revealed, Davidson and Ponce say the exhibition will display the design process of each participant, “while creating a dialogue about pressing urban issues such as housing.”

Other important aspects of the exhibition will be “community involvement” and “outreach.” Specifics on how each will be played out is still under wraps.

For the 2014 US pavilion, Leong Leong Architecture was invited to design an environment that played upon the history and cliché of architectural modernism by creating a physical “prototype” of an architectural office space. Called OfficeUS, it was commissioned by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, and presented “1000 projects designed by 200 US offices working abroad in a chronological archive of the last 100 years,” according to OfficeUS’s website.


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