In the cafe of the wonderfully elegant Palazzo Cà Giustinian on Venice‘s Grand Canal I had a chance to catch up with former AN associate editor Jaffer Kolb. Kolb has gone on to bigger and better projects and is currently the man on the ground in Venice for David Chipperfield as they prepare for the 13th Biennale of Architecture.
Jaffer reports that through the usual difficulties (and expense) of working in Venice the event is on schedule. Common Ground will include a good many American architects from various regions.
From Ann Arbor: a group called 13178 Moran Street includes Ellie Abrons, Adam Fure, Meredith Miller, Thom Moran, Catie Newell, Rosalyne Shieh, and Troy Schaum. New York will send three groups: Peter Eisenman, Toshiko Mori, and Tod Williams/Billie Tsien. The Chicago entry includes: Jeanne Gang, Stanley Tigerman, David Brown, Sarah Dunn, Martin Felsen, Margaret McCurry, and Alexander Eisenschmidt. Finally, Ken Frampton is bringing along a geographically diverse group of Steven Holl, Rick Joy, Stanley Saitowitz, and Canadians John Patkau and Brigitte Shim.
Kolb is also excited by an student installation called 40,000 Hours (a working title) which displays an international array of university projects using simple white card board models all displayed anonymously in a single room.
The Common Ground theme, Kolb explained, emphasizes shared ideas over individual authorship, and asks architects to initiate dialogues in their projects rather than simply proposing a selection of projects. Whether the participants really take this shared theme to heart will only be apparent in Venice and The Architects Newspaper will be there to report on it. We’ll be publishing a daily newspaper with our partners Allemandi for the first three days of the Biennale, August 27th, 28th, and 29th. If you can’t make it to Venice watch for our online reports from La Serenissima.