Eighty-nine practitioners will take part in the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

Puttin’ on the Spritz

Eighty-nine practitioners will take part in the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

Venice, Italy (Vyacheslav Argenberg/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0)

Venice is readying for the 18th iteration of the Venice Architecture Biennale, which will take place from May 20 through November 26. Earlier this week, the programming for the exhibition was revealed, along with a list of participating designers and firms.

As previously reported by AN, the curator for this upcoming edition is Ghanaian-Scottish architect and academic Lesley Lokko. Programming will respond to the theme The Laboratory of the Future and will take a close look at Africa. In its latest announcement, the Biennale shared that of the 89 participants staging work at the architectural showcase, over half are from Africa or the African Diaspora. Additionally, there is an equal number of women and men designers and about half of the participants are from firms that employ five people or less.

Among the participants are Adjaye Associates, Hood Design Studio, MASS Design Group, Kéré Architecture, and Studio Barnes. A list of participants is reproduced below.

The U.S. Pavilion will be designed by SPACES, a nonprofit alternative arts organization from Cleveland that will present a display on the world’s unrelenting reliance with plastic; it will be one of the 63 pavilion commissions on view.

This is the first time there has been a focus on Africa and the African Diaspora at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Among other firsts at the upcoming exhibition are an effort to achieve carbon neutrality. Last year the Biennale obtained certification from RINA, a carbon neutrality advisory, in compliance with the international standard PAS2060, to promote a sustainable model focused on decarbonization at the event. The 2023 Biennale will serve as a test run for the industry, as it is the first major exhibition of its kind to strive for carbon neutrality within its programming.

The Biennale College Architettura will make its debut with a new month-long event that will run from June 25 to July 22. The program will commission 15 tutors to work with 50 students and young professionals.

Niger will participate in the Biennale for the first time, and the country of Panama will stage its own pavilion for the first time; in past years, the Central American country has organized an exhibition through the Italo-Latin American International Organization.

The main exhibition will be anchored by Force Majeure, in which 17 participants will show work in the Central Pavilion and Giardini. The exhibition will continue with Dangerous Liaisons in the Arsenale and Corderie, a project from Lokko, and the Curator’s Special Projects.

“Central to all the projects is the primacy and potency of one tool: the imagination,” Lokko detailed in a statement. “We have deliberately chosen to frame participants as ‘practitioners’ and not ‘architects’ and/or ‘urbanists’, ‘designers’, ‘landscape architects’, ‘engineers’ or ‘academics’ because it is our contention that the rich, complex conditions of both Africa and a rapidly hybridising world call for a different and broader understanding of the term ‘architect.’”

As in year’s past joining the pavilion exhibitions are a number of other programs, including university seminars; Carnival, a series of events, lectures, films, and performances related to the themes of the Biennale that will last six months; Collateral Events, a showcases from nonprofits and other institutions; and the Applied Arts Pavilion, a regular collaboration between the Biennale and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

More information on the Venice Architecture Biennale can be found here.

AN will follow up to share plans for the special projects and national pavilions that will be on view in May.

The participating practitioners in The Laboratory of the Future are as follows:

Force Majeure
(Giardini, Central Pavilion)

1. Adjaye Associates (Accra, Ghana; London, UK; New York, USA)
David Adjaye

2. atelier masōmī (Niamey, Niger)
Mariam Issoufou Kamara

3. Basis (London, UK; Los Angeles, New York, USA)
Kibwe Tavares

4. Cave_bureau (Nairobi, Kenya)
Kabage Karanja

5. Hood Design Studio (Oakland, USA)
Walter Hood, Alma Du Solier, Michael DeGregorio, Paul Peters

6. Ibrahim Mahama (Tamale, Ghana)

7. Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany)
Diébédo Francis Kéré

8. Koffi & Diabaté Architectes (Abidjan, Ivory Coast)
Guillaume Koffi, Issa Diabaté

9. MASS Design Group (Boston, USA; Kigali, Rwanda)
Alan Ricks,  Christian Benimana, Patricia Gruits

10. Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn, USA)

11. SOFTLAB@PSU (State College, USA)
Felecia Davis

12. Studio Sean Canty (Boston, USA)
Sean Canty

13. Sumayya Vally and Moad Musbahi (Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, London, UK; New York, USA, Tunis, Tunisia)
Sumayya Vally, Moad Musbahi

14. Thandi Loewenson (London, UK)

15. Theaster Gates Studio (Chicago, USA)
Theaster Gates

16. urban american city (urbanAC) (New York, USA)
Toni L. Griffin

Force Majeure – Outdoor Installation

17. Adjaye Associates (Accra, Ghana; London, UK; New York, USA)
David Adjaye

Dangerous Liaisons
(Arsenale, Corderie)

18. AD—WO (New York, USA)
Emanuel Admassu, Jen Wood

19. AMAA Collaborative Architecture Office For Research And Development (Venice, Italy)
Marcello Galiotto, Alessandra Rampazzo

20. Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (New York, USA; Madrid, Spain)
Andrés Jaque

21. autonoma (Brasília, Brazil)
Paulo Tavares

22. BDR bureau and carton123 architecten (Turin, Italy; Brussels, Belgium)
Simona Della Rocca, Alberto Bottero, Els Van Meerbeek, Joost Raes

23. DAAR – Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal (Stockholm; Bethlehem)

24. David Wengrow and Eyal Weizman with Forensic Architecture and Nebelivka project (London, UK)
Eyal Weizman, David Wengrow

25. Dream The Combine (Ithaca, Minneapolis, USA)
Jennifer Newsom, Tom Carruthers

26. Dualchas (Isle of Skye, Glasgow, UK)
Neil Stephen, Alasdair Stephen, Rory Flyn

27. Estudio A0 (Quito, Ecuador)
Ana María Durán Calisto, Jaskran Kalirai

28. Flores & Prats Architects (Barcelona, Spain)
Eva Prats, Ricardo Flores

29. Gbolade Design Studio (London, UK)
Tara Gbolade, Lanre Gbolade

30. Gloria Cabral and Sammy Baloji (Guarda do Embau, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium)
Gloria Cabral, Sammy Baloji, with Cécile Fromont (New Haven, USA)

31. Grandeza Studio (Madrid, Spain; Sydney, Australia)
Amaia Sánchez-Velasco, Jorge Valiente Oriol, Gonzalo Valiente Oriol

32. Huda Tayob (Cape Town, Republic of South Africa; Manchester, UK)

33. Kate Otten Architects (Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa)
Kate Otten

34. Killing Architects (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Alison Killing

35. Le laboratoire d’architecture (Geneva, Switzerland)
Vanessa Lacaille, Mounir Ayoub

36. Liam Young (Los Angeles, USA)

37. Low Design Office (Austin, USA; Tema, Ghana)
Ryan Bollom, DK Osseo-Asare

38. MMA Design Studio (Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa)
Mphethi Morojele

39. Neri&Hu Design and Research Office (Shanghai, People’s Republic of China)
Lyndon Neri/Guo Xi-En, Rossana Hu/Hu Ru-Shan

40. Office 24-7 Architecture and Lemon Pebble Architects (Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa)
Nabeel Essa, Tanzeem Razak

41. orizzontale (Rome, Italy)
Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Margherita Manfra, Giuseppe Grant, Roberto Pantaleoni, Stefano Ragazzo, Juan López Cano, Jacopo Ammendola

42. Rahul Mehrotra with Ranjit Hoskote (Mumbai, India, Boston, USA)
Rahul Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote

43. SCAPE Landscape Architecture (New York, USA)
Kate Orff

44. Stephanie Hankey, Michael Uwemedimo and Jordan Weber (Berlin, Germany and internationally; Port Harcourt, Nigeria and internationally; New York City, Boston, St. Louis, Minneapolis, USA)
Stephanie Hankey, Michael Uwemedimo, Jordan Weber

45. Studio Barnes (Miami, USA)
Germane Barnes

46. Suzanne Dhaliwal (Croatia; UK)

47. Sweet Water Foundation (Chicago, USA)
Emmanuel Pratt

48. The Funambulist (Paris, France)
Léopold Lambert

49. Twenty Nine studio (Brussels, Belgium)
Sammy Baloji

50. Ursula Biemann (Zurich, Switzerland and internationally)

51. White Arkitekter (Sweden)
Alexandra Hagen

52. Wolff Architects (Cape Town, Republic of South Africa)
Ilze Wolff, Heinrich Wolff

53. ZAO/standardarchitecture (Beijing, People’s Republic of China)
Zhang Ke

Dangerous Liaisons – Outdoor Installation

54. Studio of Serge Attukwei Clottey (Accra, Ghana)
Serge Attukwei Clottey

Dangerous Liaisons – Outdoor Installation
(Forte Marghera)

55. Sweet Water Foundation (Chicago, USA)
Emmanuel Pratt