VENICE BIENNALE
CALL FOR 2023
CREATIVE DIRECTORS

Australian Pavilion | Photographer: Rory Gardiner

Venice Architecture Biennale

18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

On behalf of the 2023 Venice Biennale Committee, I am delighted to invite Expressions of Interest for Creative Directorship at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale Di Venezia. The Australian Institute of Architects has a strong affiliation with this world-renowned Exhibition, and we are excited to once again showcase the very best of the Australian design community in Venice, Italy.

The theme for the 18th La Biennale Di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future, allows Creative Directors to interpret broad guidelines that encourage ingenuity and imagination.

Involvement in La Biennale Di Venezia provides an opportunity for Members of The Institute, to exhibit on a world-stage amongst a cohort of international colleagues. This is a highly coveted professional development opportunity and I encourage you to consider your application to participate as the 2023 La Biennale Di Venezia Creative Director.

Further information including past winners and detailed entry requirements can be viewed here.

 
Tony Giannone
 
Chair of the Venice Biennale Committee
Immediate Past National President
Australian Institute of Architects
2016 National Architecture Awards | Australian Pavilion | Denton Corker Marshall | Photographer: John Gollings

Presenting Inbetween: Australia’s exhibition for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

Inbetween explores cultural connection in the built environment

The Australian exhibition for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale has been exhibited locally for the first time since Australia opened its pavilion in Venice in 1988. Curated by Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong, Inbetween presents a collection of architectural projects and processes selected for their powerful representation of Indigenous and First Nations peoples and cultures; projects that enable cross cultural exchange and highlight the value of Indigenous knowledge for improving the built environment.

 

Navigating the limitations of current border restrictions, Inbetween has been reimagined as an immersive, large scale and suitably beautiful video piece. “What we’re looking at through the exhibition is how architects, both non-indigenous and Indigenous, are working with First Nations peoples – traditional owners, knowledge keepers and elders – as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment.” explains Jefa. “Beyond that, we’re opening up a conversation around some of the shared challenges we’re facing in our broader Pacific region and pointing to the fact that when finding ways to connect with Indigenous culture, we don’t operate in a vacuum.”

The Biennale is one of the oldest and most prestigious international exhibitions of architecture, showcasing leaders in contemporary design and architecture from around the world.

The Biennale is a unique opportunity to reach non- traditional and underserved audiences. The Institute, through its Venice Biennale Committee, aims to engage these audiences in Venice and through local outreach activities associated with the exhibition.

The Biennale is to be held on the following key dates:

  • Vernissage – 18 – 19 May 2023

  • Open to Public – 20 May – 26 November 2023

2023 Theme

The Laboratory of the Future

The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and the Curator of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, Lesley Lokko announced on 30 May, 2022 the title and theme of the Biennale Architettura 2023 is, The Laboratory of the Future.
 
Lesley Lokko, said that La Biennale di Venezia itself is itself a kind of laboratory of the future, a time and space in which speculations about the [architectural] discipline’s relevance to this world — and the world to come — take place.
 
She said “we envisage our exhibition as a kind of workshop, a laboratory where architects and practitioners across an expanded field of creative disciplines draw out examples from their contemporary practices that chart a path for the audience — participants and visitors alike — to weave through, imagining for themselves what the future can hold.
Lesley Lokko | Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia | Photographer: Jacopo Salvi

Call for 2023 Creative Director/s

18TH VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE 2023

The Australian Institute of Architects (the Institute) invites Expressions of Interest for the role of Creative Director for the Australian exhibition at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.

The Creative Director’s role is solely focused on the curation of the Exhibition, with the formal, social and operational aspects being the responsibility of the Institute management team.

The exhibition is required to reflect the overall 2023 Venice Biennale theme and showcases Australian architectural thinking, culture and design, communicating a rich and engaging story about architecture and the Australian built environment to an international audience.

For 2023, the Venice Biennale Committee seeks a powerful idea that reveals what is particular, but also prescient, about Australian architecture. A successful concept will be captivating, thought-provoking and inspirational. Consideration should also be given to the curated exhibition’s journey post-Venice and its adaptability to tour nationally across Australia once the exhibition closes in Venice.

2021 Inbetween Exhibit | Photographer: Aaron Puls

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

STAGE 1 REQUIREMENTS

Submissions will present an exhibition theme, idea and concept, as well the capability and skills of the Creative Directors.
  • A maximum five A4 pages (single-sided), 11-point font size submission is required as described below. The submission is to include the following:
Concept Proposal (3 pages max):
  • Outline the concept proposal (including any diagrams, graphics, imagery), responding to each of the selection criteria.
  • Nominate a ‘working title’ concept name.
Nominated Creative Team (1 page max):
  • Outline the creative team members including Creative Director/s and any other proposed team members.
  • For each team member, provide their current position, employment and contact details (telephone, email and postal address). No CVs or biographies are required at this stage.
  • Nominate the Creative Director contact person representing the team as the primary contact.
  • Nominate the names of the Creative Directors, noting that the Institute may publish shortlisted entries using the names provided.
Statement of Experience and Capability (1 page max):
  • Outline the Creative Directors’ experience and skills relevant to delivering the exhibition. Reference may be made to project design, curation and management capability. Submissions should also demonstrate success in meeting tight timeframes within defined budgets.
At this stage, the Institute DOES NOT require or expect to see artistic impressions, models, scale drawings or detailed proposals.

SUBMISSION FORMAT

Your submission needs to be in PDF format, maximum of five A4 pages.

CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS

5.00pm AEST on Friday, 15 July 2022

Submissions can be emailed to venice.biennale@architecture.com.au

Australian Pavilion | Denton Corker Marshall | Photographer: Stephen Varady

2021 Australian Exhibition

Originally conceived for exhibition at the subsequently postponed 2020 iteration of the Biennale in Venice, Inbetween looks beyond Australia’s borders and invites the neighbouring nations of the Pacific to join the exhibition, leveraging Australia’s fortunate position as one of only 29 countries with a permanent pavilion to platform architecture and cultures that may have less international exposure. The film brings together 20 projects from across Australia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia to amplify the important role architecture can play in retaining and rediscovering lost cultural knowledge.

Tristan said: “We’re privileged to be one of the few countries that have a pavilion in the Giardini in Venice so in the context of this year’s overarching Biennale theme, which asks “How will we live together?”, we thought of sharing our platform with countries whose architecture and cultures have much less exposure as a way of breaking down that privilege. This ended up being a way of reaching beyond our shores to embrace people and cultures who have a shared experience and created a much richer exhibition.”

Showcasing projects from remote, regional, and metropolitan locations – every drawing, photograph or snippet of footage collated in the film offers insight into how architects are creating new protocols for better design outcomes through meaningful co-design processes. “Architects understand the value of engaging with deeper connections to Country. Inbetween explores different approaches, across a variety of architectural typologies and scales, but they are all working to a shared agenda. There’s a consistency of thinking and an attitude that shows we’re reaching a level of cultural maturity within the built environment disciplines where we can begin to enable cultural collaboration and exchange.” reflects Jefa.

2021 Inbetween Exhibit | Indigenous Languages Map

Watch the 2021 Inbetween Premier

Inbetween premiered on Thursday 20 May, and will be exhibited this year throughout Australia, across the Pacific region and more broadly, as well as online. “Not being tied to the space in Venice has meant that we’ve been able to create something that can be experienced by a much larger audience. The great thing about the new format is that essentially anyone can access it and it has longevity beyond the dates of the Biennale.” explains Tristan. “This project isn’t a collection of artefacts; it’s forward looking and presents the innovative potential in learning from Indigenous methods and ideas. Embedding practices and knowledge that has been around for more than 60000 years into the way we design buildings creates opportunities for a new kind of architecture that is better for people, cities and the environment.”

“We always wanted to invite people on a journey. The film creates an immersive experience that engages the senses so it’s not simply about the visuals but also the connection to soundscapes and the hearing of language, creating a visceral connection to Country. In the international realm there are still stereotypes around how people understand Australia so we wanted to demonstrate richness and diversity – the different contexts and landscapes that exist in Australia, and more broadly in our region, and how architecture responds to that” Said Jefa.

2021 Creative Directors

Jefa Greenaway

Jefa has spent over two decades exploring the intersection of engagement, Indigeneity and the built environment, as both a Director of Greenaway Architects and as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Jefa’s practice experience spans cultural, educational, and precinct scaled projects demonstrating the capacity for architecture to become an enabler towards a valued contribution to society. His methodology seeks to embed Indigenous knowledge systems and design thinking, which interrogates an ethical position which foregrounds our responsibilities to the environment. Jefa shares a proud Wailwan/Kamilaroi and German heritage and is one of a handful of registered Indigenous architects in private practice in Australia.

 

Tristan Wong

An awarded architect and SJB Director whose innovative thinking and bold solutions are connected to positive wellbeing outcomes and environmental benefits. His projects have won awards with reference to innovation, clarity of message and capacity to improve the health and experience of users. Tristan’s work promotes a more humanity-based outcome and a belief in architecture’s ability to make positive change to society. Experience as an artist has coloured his perspective on design; for example, encouraging hand drawing and sketching in the studio – a reminder of the connection between human-made design processes, and the built environment.

2021 Venice Biennale Australian Creative Directors Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong

2021 Creative Directors

2021 Venice Biennale Australian Creative Directors Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong | Photographer: Anthony Richardson

IN|BETWEEN: BUILDING CULTURAL CONNECTIONS THROUGH ARCHITECTURE

Architecture has the power to build connections and understanding between First Nations cultures in Australia, the Pacific region and beyond. This is the compelling concept behind In|between, the Australian exhibition of the 2020 Venice International Architecture Biennale.

Creative Directors Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway, along with Tim RossElizabeth GrantAaron Puls and Jordyn Milliken, will demonstrate the potency of design collaboration to create culturally appropriate and meaningful architecture, while also highlighting the connections between First Nations people across the Australasian region.

Embracing Australia’s diversity, its rich Indigenous heritage and multiplicity of languages, In | between will showcase a collection of architectural projects from Australia and the Pacific region and explore how design can be a powerful form of communication that can evocatively represent Indigenous and non-Indigenous narratives.

Venice Architecture Biennale

PRESENTING AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE To THE
WORLD SINCE 2006

We raise the international profile of Australian architecture through active participation in global events such as the Venice Architecture Biennale – the world’s most prestigious celebration of the practice.

Through the Biennale, we present Australia’s contribution to world architecture before an international audience of influential architects, designers, urban planners and critics. In turn, we also encourage the local and international professional community to continue finding ways to develop a more efficient and sustainable built environment for the future.

New dates

The Venice Architecture Biennale has made the decision to postpone the 2020 event due to the current public health emergency.

JOURNEY TO VENICE 2020

NETWORK VENICE

Support Australia in Venice and be a part of something big as we seek to advance architecture through international dialogue, answering the call – How will we live together?

Network, build connections and engage with the local and global architecture and design community and be recognised as a leader with acknowledgement of support throughout Australia’s marketing campaign and on the ground in Venice.

Join Network Venice now and maximise your benefits with VIP attendance at the upcoming Creative Director Reveal events being held in Melbourne and Sydney this October.

Photographer: Rory Gardiner

Download a print friendly version of the Network Venice brochure

View the Network Venice sponsorship terms and conditions

Venice 2020

BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2020

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition will be curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis with the theme How will we live together?

‘The world is putting new challenges in front of architecture. I look forward to working with participating architects from around the world to imagine together how we are going to rise to these challenges.’ – Hashim Sarkis.

New dates

The Venice Architecture Biennale has made the decision to postpone the 2020 event due to the current public health emergency. The Vernissage preview will now be held on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 August, and the exhibition will run from 29 August until 29 November (instead of 23 May until 29 November).

The Australian Institute of Architects respects this decision as the health and safety of our members, partners and staff, as well as our international colleagues and friends, is our main priority. We look forward to presenting the Australian pavilion alongside the creative team in August.

We will update this page soon with further information.

Australian Pavilion | Denton Corker Marshall | Photographer: John Gollings

Australian Exhibition 2021

Inbetween | Jefa Greenway and Tristan Wong | Photographer: SJB

2021: INBETWEEN

Jefa Greenway and Tristan Wong

Inbetween premiered on Thursday 20 May, and will be exhibited this year throughout Australia, across the Pacific region and more broadly, as well as online. “Not being tied to the space in Venice has meant that we’ve been able to create something that can be experienced by a much larger audience. The great thing about the new format is that essentially anyone can access it and it has longevity beyond the dates of the Biennale.” explains Tristan. “This project isn’t a collection of artefacts; it’s forward looking and presents the innovative potential in learning from Indigenous methods and ideas. Embedding practices and knowledge that has been around for more than 60000 years into the way we design buildings creates opportunities for a new kind of architecture that is better for people, cities and the environment.”

“We always wanted to invite people on a journey. The film creates an immersive experience that engages the senses so it’s not simply about the visuals but also the connection to soundscapes and the hearing of language, creating a visceral connection to Country. In the international realm there are still stereotypes around how people understand Australia so we wanted to demonstrate richness and diversity – the different contexts and landscapes that exist in Australia, and more broadly in our region, and how architecture responds to that” Said Jefa.

 

Past Exhibitions

Repair | Baracco+Wright Architects with artist Linda Tegg | Photographer: Rory Gardiner

2018 - REPAIR

Mauro Baracco, Louise Wright with Linda Tegg

Repair focused on Australian architecture that integrates built and natural systems to effect repair of the environment, and in so doing, mend or improve other societal, economic, and cultural conditions. 

On entering the Pavilion, visitors found over 10,000 native Australian grassland plants arranged inside and outside of the Pavilion’s granite structure. This field of vegetation, titled Grasslands, allowed visitors to enter a physical dialogue between architecture and the endangered plant community – with just one percent of these threatened species left in their native Australian environment.

2016 - Australian Pavilion - The Pool by Aileen Sage Architects (Amelia Holliday and Isabelle Toland) with Michelle Tabet. Photo Brett Boardman

2016 - The Pool

Amelia Holliday, Isabelle Toland (Aileen Sage) and Michelle Tabet

Using the pool as a lens through which to explore Australian cultural identity, the Australian Pavilion was transformed through the use of light, scent, sound, reflection and perspective to create a series of perceptual illusions within a designed landscape.

Eight prominent cultural leaders from various fields were selected to share their personal stories, using the device of the pool as a platform to explore the relationship between architecture and Australian cultural identity. These included Olympic gold medal winning swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould, environmentalist and 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, fashion designers Romance Was Born, writer of best-selling book The Slap Christos Tsiolkas, winner of the 2012 Miles Franklin Prize Anna Funder, Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins and Australian rock-musician Paul Kelly.

The aim of the exhibition was to step outside the architect-to-architect discourse to show how a familiar, common object, the pool, is in fact pregnant with cultural significance, it is both artefact and catalyst of change. The Pool is about public space as a vital component to society and shows the many ways in which its public character is interpreted and occupied.

Augmented Australia 1914-2014 – Minifie van Schaik, Caught Unawares, 2013, Sydney. Digital reconstruction by Ben Juckes.

2014 - Augmented Australia: 1914 - 2014

felix._Giles_Anderson+Goad

Augmented Australia  provided a virtual journey through 23 of Australia’s most intriguing unbuilt projects through the use of a dedicated app.

Augmented Australia’s virtual experience began under a temporary Cloud Space, where display images of each project automatically triggered three-dimensional (3D) augmented models, animations and interviews when viewed through the app. Including a 1:1 scale virtual model of the new Australian Pavilion by Denton Corker Marshall overlaid on its construction site.

The exhibition then extended beyond the Giardini with real-world scale augmented models of each unbuilt project geographically positioned in various locations around Venice, marking the largest exhibition of its kind ever seen.

2012 - Formations

2012 - Formations: New practices in Australian Architecture

Anthony Burke, Gerard Reinmuth, with TOKO concept design

Formations provided a cross-section of the state of Australian architecture and singled out thirty-three unique practice structures corresponding to its agenda. The project was essentially made up of two components: the exhibition, with the unassuming Australian pavilion as its nucleus, and an accompanying catalogue. Of the total thirty-three surveyed practices, the pavilion exhibited six.

The optimism and pluralist sensibility of Formations was laudable. Indeed, it may soon be the case that, as Ole Bouman says, “architecture has become a universal access code, a mother key that may open countless doors in culture and in society.” However, in the meantime, for any current student or young practitioner of a discipline and body of knowledge in turmoil, the need for professional (role) models is acute. The emancipatory bent of Formations is more timely than ever.

Now and When | John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec | Photographer: John Gollings

2010 - Now and When

John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec

Now and When explored the challenges facing our cities, engaging in timely issues that included sustainability, urban sprawl and density.

The ‘NOW’ component featured aerial views of Australian urban landscapes, including Melbourne, Sydney and Surfers Paradise, contrasted with giant mining pits at Kalgoorlie and Mt Newman by renowned architectural photographer John Gollings. The ‘WHEN’ component, overseen by Ivan Rijavec and produced by FloodSlicer, featured a sequence of ideas from 17 architectural collaborations of possible future urban spaces, including floating or submerged cities, or desert spaces.

Now and When exhibited on a completely new form of 3D stereoscopic technology, which goes beyond the latest cinematic release. Visitors were able to move around these urban scenes and experience the urbanised worlds from different perspectives.

Abundant | Neil Durbach, Vince Frost, Wendy Lewin, Kerstin Thompson and Gary Warner | Photographer: John Gollings

2008 - Abundant

Neil Durbach, Vince Frost, Wendy Lewin, Kerstin Thompson and Gary Warner

Abundant Australia explored the astonishing ability of Australian architects to blend new influences, dramatic landscapes and Australia’s unique multicultural society. Featuring over 140 architectural models of both domestic and commercial buildings from prominent Australian architects, including Ashton Raggatt McDougall, Denton Corker Marshall and Iredale Pedersen Hook, the exhibition revealed an architecture that is distinctly Australian.

Australian Pavilion

Our National Pavilion

Australia is one of 29 countries to be granted a permanent exhibition site within the Giardini della Biennale. In 2015, the Australia Council for the Arts unveiled Australia’s new permanent pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall. This new pavilion replaced a temporary exhibition space designed by Philip Cox in 1988, in use until 2013. 

We gratefully acknowledge the Australia Council for the Arts for the use of the Australian Pavilion during the biennial architecture exhibition. 

Australian Pavilion | Denton Corker Marshall | Photographer: John Gollings

Venice Biennale partners

The Australian Institute of Architects gratefully acknowledges the support given by the Australian Council of the Arts.

Principal Event Partner
Supporting Event Partners
Supporting Media Partner
Network Venice Platinum Partner
Network Venice Gold Partners
Network Venice Silver Partners

Anita Belgiorno-Nettis AM
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM

Network Venice Bronze Partners

Architectus Sydney
Allen Jack+Cottier
ARM Architecture
The University of Queensland
Aileen Sage