This is the last Venice Architecture Biennale post for 2010–I promise! The organization that oversees all the Venetian biennales (art, film, music etc.), la Biennale di Venezia, sent us a press release with the numbers from the just concluded architecture exhibition. It claims that 170,000 people visited the event, a 31% increase over the last architecture exhibit in 2008 (which had 129,323 attendees). It should be pointed out however that the older and more established art biennale had 375,702 attendees in 2009. The exhibition included the participation of 53 Countries and 20 Collateral events sponsored by international institutions and organizations and located in various venues in and around Venice.
Further, the initiative to bring in architecture students to the biennale produced workshops with 21 Italian universities and 15 foreign schools of architecture, and 49% of the total visitors were students. There is no word what was actually produced in these student workshops but the biennale’s Architecture Saturdays, which brought back all the living past curators for conversations, was deemed a success as was the organizations new iphone and ipad apps that link one into the exhibition.
The biennale’s president Paolo Baratta, serving his last term as leader of the Italian organization and presumably the person who pushed for Kazuyo Sejima to lead the 2010 event, said in a statement, “We wanted the Exhibition to come back to talk about architecture as indispensable art for planning the civic public life and for growing a civilization that addresses people towards their relations with the others. Sejima offered us an exhibition that enriches our sensibility for the space in which we live, of us as architects but especially as private and public commitments, that have the role to give shape to more qualified questions and ambitions. An exhibition addressed to thinkers and students, but also to the big public as ever that came to visit it.” The 2010 biennale was like its President Baratta: smart and elegant. Fino.