Shortlist announced: Creative Directors for 2020 Venice Biennale

Three architectural collaborations have been shortlisted to represent Australia at the Australian Pavilion in the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Titled In | between, – 15 degrees: Raising Albedo: Cooling Cities, and Project<Public, the shortlisted proposals were selected from submissions from around the country following expressions of interest.

The International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, is the most prestigious forum for architecture and design worldwide. The 17th exhibition, curated by US architect Hashim Sarkis, will examine the theme, How Will We Live Together?

‘The year 2020 has often been referred to as a milestone on the path to a better future,’ he said.

‘We look to the collective architectural imagination to meet this momentous occasion with creativity and courage.’

The Australian Institute of Architects National President Professor Helen Lochhead said the Australian Pavilion would showcase contemporary design and culture.

‘The Venice Biennale is a highlight on the global stage where Australian architects can present their unique position and creativity,’ Professor Lochhead said.

‘The range of entries we received for the prestigious creative directorship of the Australian Pavilion offered both original and compelling responses to next year’s theme. The depth of talent made the selection panel’s decision extremely difficult.

‘These shortlisted entries each provided a vision that will highlight architecture’s role in creating solutions to social challenges, while contributing to a more inclusive and cooperative future.’

She also commended the other entries for their diversity of ideas on the theme of peoples inhabiting the world together.

‘From small practices to major firms around the nation, the Institute was impressed with the breadth and depth of skillsets within the submissions to take on this provocation.

‘We thank the teams behind all the proposals for their willingness to engage with this call to showcase Australian talent on an international stage.’

In | between is an alliance between architects Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway that highlights the links between Australia and its Pacific Island neighbours.

Through mixed media, it speaks to breaking down barriers between people and nations and within communities. The proposal highlights the potential of architecture to build cultural understanding between first nations peoples and others with a focus on Australia and our Pacific Island neighbours.

-15 degrees: Raising Albedo: Cooling Cities, responds to the impacts of climate change by demonstrating heat mitigation strategies being used to reduce surface temperatures in Darwin by 15 degrees Celsius to reduce ambient temperature by a critical 2 degrees Celsius, a strategy that could make living in tropical cities more amenable, globally.

The team of five senior architects – including Institute Gold Medallist Lawrence Nield – and their collaborators propose using an interactive game to highlight the experience of heat minimisation.

The Project<Public proposal, by architect Matthew Pullinger and ThenewDemocracy Foundation co-founder Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, sets its photographic and interactive exhibit in our global city, Sydney. It centres on the idea of the citizen jury and how this might impact the design of our cities into the future through the live case-study being employed by the City of Sydney.

The Biennale will run from 23 May to 29 November next year.

The selection panel comprised Australian Institute of Architects National President Helen Lochhead; the Institute Chief Executive Officer Julia Cambage; South Australia Chapter President Tony Giannone; Executive Director, Public Spaces, NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment and former Director – Strategy and Engagement at Sydney Living Museums, Caroline Butler-Bowdon; and Australia’s 2016 Venice Biennale Co-Creative Director Isabelle Tolland.

The Creative Directors for the Australian Exhibition will be announced at special events in Sydney and Melbourne on 15 and 16 October respectively.

Architects throughout Australia are invited to support their profession’s contribution to the international stage by becoming Network Venice partners.

The Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of Principle Event Partner, Brickworks; Supporting Event Partner, Smeg; and the Australia Council for the Arts for the use of the Australian Pavilion.

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Australian Institute of Architects
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