The editor-in-chief of The Architect’s Newspaper, William Menking, has been named commissioner in charge of an exhibition to represent the United States at the 11th Architecture Biennale opening in Venice on September 14. The exhibit, called Into The Open: Positioning Practice, is organized by Menking in collaboration with architects Teddy Cruz and Deborah Gans and supported by Aaron Levy and Andrew Sturm.
The exhibition explores recent explosive migration and its impact on shifting socio-cultural populations and geo-political boundaries, as well as the subsequent repercussions these changes have had on how architecture is made.
By way of graphic demonstration, a project by Teddy Cruz vividly portrays the life and conditions around a 60-mile line running through San Diego County and across the Baja California border. In all, there will be 16 geographically, culturally, and ethnically distinct participants providing equally eye-opening projects, from Rural Studio’s work in Hale County, Alabama, to chef Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California.
In sync with the overall theme of the Biennale, Into the Open explores how architects are increasingly going beyond building when meeting the challenges posed by today’s urban and ex-urban conditions. Through drawings, video projections, photographs, but no building models, Menking and his team aim to explore the way that architecture is leading the way in generating new forms of sociability and activism across many different environments.
“The idea of the exhibition is to talk about practice in a new way where design evolves out of conflicts and relationships,” Menking said. “In a sense, the building is a marker of that, but we’re really more interested in the process. We’re saying it’s a new way of doing architecture.”
Open to the public through November 23, Into the Open, the official United States representation at the 11th Architecture Biennale in Venice, has been organized by the PARC Foundation and Slought Foundation and is supported by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.