The 16th International Architecture Exhibition, titled FREESPACE, will be curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara and organised by LaBiennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta. Biennale Architettura 2018: "Freespace" will be open to the public from 26 May to 25 November 2018, at the Giardini and the Arsenale.
As President Baratta explained: "The desire to create FREESPACE can become the specific individual characteristic of each individual project. But space, free space, public space can also reveal the presence or absence of architecture, if we understand architecture to be "thinking applied to the space where we live, that we inhabit". And the International Architecture Exhibition will offer us examples, teachings, and topics of discussion. Therefore, we are thankful to Farrell and McNamara for having accepted our invitation and for the choice, which adds an important link to the chain of Exhibitions held over the years."
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, in relation to the meaning of the word FREESPACE,stated: "We are delighted with the global engagement of participants and participating counties in the process of its translation. When we were writing the Manifesto, we wanted primarily to include the word space. We also wanted a new use of everyday words, which could somehow cause us all to re-frame the additional component that we as a profession can contribute to humanity. We see architecture as the translation of need in its widest sense into meaningful space. In the effort to translate FREESPACE into the many wonderful languages of the world, we hope that it prises open the ‘gift’ which architectural invention has the potential to contribute with each project. Translation allows us all to map and rename intellectual as well as actual territory. It is our hope that the word FREESPACE allows us to burrow into the aspirations, ambitions and generosity of architecture."
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”, Greek proverb.
The Exhibition will also include 65 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. 7 countries will be participating in the Biennale Architettura for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Holy See (with its own pavilion located on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore).
There will be two Special Projects at the Biennale Architettura 2018: the Forte MargheraSpecial Project in Mestre, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, and the Special Project at the Applied Arts Pavilion in the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale, curated by Christopher Turner and Olivia Horsfall Turner.
A broad Educational programme has been scheduled for 2018 as well, addressed to individuals and groups of students, children, adults, families, professionals, companies, and universities. All the initiatives aim at actively involving the participants, and are led by professional operators, carefully trained by La Biennale di Venezia. They are divided into two categories: Guided Tours and Workshop Activities.