Posts tagged with "alejandro aravena":

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Can technology and design save us? Norman Foster Foundation’s first forum ponders the challenges

The Architect’s Newspaper is in Madrid for The Future is Now Forum, the inaugural event hosted by the Norman Foster Foundation. The Forum featured a remarkable list of figures from the design world and beyond, from Pritzker Prizewinning architect Alejandro Aravena to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and historian Niall Ferguson. Foster and numerous panelists were optimistic that design and technology could provide solutions for an ecologically and urbanistically challenged planet, though the path forward isn't without dangers and challenges.  The forum was, in a way, the Madrid-based Foundation's debut. The organization aims to foster innovation and research on the built environment while also implementing real-world projects, such as the Droneport featured at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and slated for construction in Rwanda. The Foundation is inherently interdisciplinary in scope, with its wide-ranging focus extending from architecture to infrastructure, engineering, technology, cities, the arts, and more. “I describe it as questioning traditional hierarchies and adopting a roundtable approach to creativity,” said Foster in a description of the organization.
The Foundation (which is entirely separate from Foster + Partners) grew out of a series of international traveling scholarships for architects that Foster initiated in 2007. A physical space for the Foundation would not only receive the scholars, but promote its “holistic approach to design” to a wider audience through a range of programming and exhibitions. Those activities will be grounded with the Foundation’s archive of Foster’s work, which includes prototypes, drawings, transcripts, films, photographs, models, and more. Since 2017, more than 74,000 items have been cataloged and more than half those items are already digitized. Eventually, all of them will be available on the publicly accessible online archive. While the Foundation introduced its new headquarters two days ago (AN will follow up on its design when images become available), today was its inaugural Forum, which was split into three sections: Cities, Technology and Design, and Infrastructure. Foster kicked off the forum by describing the challenges the world faces, specifically rapid urbanization, a transportation revolution (such as driverless cars and pedestrianizing cities), and climate change. With a heavy dose of Buckminster Fuller, he emphasized the need for interdisciplinary intervention and holistic design, something the Foundation will do. The first panel (featuring former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Richard Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at London School of Economics, architect Maya Lin, and Foster himself) was fairly straightforward, with an emphasis on the benefits of urban density and the inherently democratic nature of cities. The overriding theme was a need for strong political leadership to present grand and compelling visions to tackle urban woes: "Cities in the West have forgotten the power of planning," Foster lamented. Elon Musk's Hyperloop and Bogotá's highly successful bus rapid transit (BRT) system were also highlighted as examples of successful, radical thinking as well. But it was a comment from former Mayor Bloomberg about technology eliminating jobs that would set the stage for sharp disagreements in the next panel.
The second panel focused on technology and design. It started with a set of striking projects from Professor Matthias Kohler of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which included flying drones constructing a brick tower and robots fabricating a new kind of formwork that allows for curving concrete shapes. Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of MIT Media Lab, was especially bullish on technology's potential to shape design: "The end of constructing things of components" such as bricks or concrete is coming to an end. Architecture will be "like planting a seed and watching a building grow... additive construction is over." Niall Ferguson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, countered that a massive backlash was coming for all this progress: When middle America and Europe figure out that technology is taking their jobs, he said, there will be resistance, even if it's futile. Citing Uber as an especially egregious example, he argued that Silicon Valley sees its inventions and inherently "awesome" and unstoppable, thereby failing to anticipate the reaction of those on the losing side of innovation. Furthermore, Ferguson described how many scientific inventions—from splitting the atom to drones—were frequently turned into weapons of war. His critique was hotly debated by Negroponte, though it succeeded in introducing doubt to the techno-utopian aspects of the Forum's Buckminster Fuller-esque aspirations. Next, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena delivered the keynote prelude to the final panel on infrastructure. He delivered a more grounded argument about the need for infrastructure to serve multiple roles in the cities. In the face of massive urban inequality, he said, we can't touch income directly but we can strategically design public spaces, transportation, and other urban infrastructure to ameliorate the problem. Examples included using hard infrastructure (e.g. waste treatment) to create new public spaces or platforms for housing, providing opportunities for individuals to be self-sufficient and off the grid, and prioritizing space-efficient transit (such as walking, biking, and buses over cars) in the precious public space of streets. His thoughts were echoed throughout the final panel that followed. Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and seminal figure in Rebuild By Design, emphasized that infrastructure is a political and cultural challenge as well an engineering one. "We had a water democracy in the 1100s," he said of the Netherlands, which meant the public was always deeply included in the design process. Without a similar process, communities won't understand, own, or accept big infrastructure projects. Also on the panel was Jonathan Ledgard, director of Rossums Group and leader of the Norman Foster Foundation's Droneport project, who sought to counter Ferguson's earlier critique. He cited the Droneport, a hub for commerce and community where drones bring and send away small, high-value goods (such as medicine or mechanical parts) as one example of how low and high technology can mix to benefit the common good. Foster concluded the forum on a historical note. While cars have become the enemies of cities, they were once their saviors, as they eliminated the mountains of horse manure that horse-driven carriages and trucks created. Yesterday's friend can become today's enemy. Still, he said, "the exchanges today give me great hope for the future."
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Habitat III conference charts a difficult path for successful global urbanization

We are living in an urban age. According to the United Nations, the balance of people living in cities crossed the threshold of 50 percent in 2008 for the first time in the history of the planet. By 2050, it is estimated that more than three-quarters of the world’s population could reside in cities.

With such global demographic shifts taking place within cities, combined with the accelerating challenges of climate change, it would be easy to be pessimistic about the future.

The UN conference Habitat III, which took place in Quito, Ecuador, from October 17–20, was a key moment in which the global community embraced the idea of urbanization as a positive agent of change in human development. Occurring only once every 20 years, the conference collects some of the world’s most influential policy makers, politicians, press, designers, researchers, experts in sustainability, and interested onlookers on issues surrounding housing and sustainable urban development.

This year there were 45,000 participants, the greatest number ever to attend. Many of the thousands of participants appeared to be local Quiteños who had managed to register in time and had braved the long lines. The week was hectic, busy with visitors clamoring to attend panel discussions, visit exhibitions, and listen to lively discussions. The audience was filled with intrigue and anticipation, teetering on frenzy—there was so much to do and so many important conversations to absorb and participate in.

We felt that this was a landmark week—because we were in the place where the New Urban Agenda, the ambitious document that underpins the conference, was officially adopted. Paragraph five out of its twenty-three pages perhaps communicates best its bold potential: “By readdressing the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed, and managed, the New Urban Agenda will help to end poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions, reduce inequalities, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, in order to fully harness their vital contribution to sustainable development, improve human health and well-being, as well as foster resilience and protect the environment.”

The positive outlook continued into the conference and throughout there was a series of exciting conceptual revelations that shifted the discourse on the evolution of cities. It started with recent Pritzker Laureate  Alejandro Aravena’s keynote speech at the end of the first day, where he extolled his belief that the moment had come to invert our notion that good cities only come about after the creation of wealth and prosperity; to one where good cities lead by setting the context for economic development—an idea he borrowed directly from Dr. Joan Clos, executive director of the conference. Then there was the hugely anticipated release of the Atlas of Urban Expansion, a collaboration among New York University, UN-Habitat, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. After years of analyzing satellite data, Professor Shlomo Angel and his team revealed conclusive proof that the footprints of cities are expanding faster than their populations.

LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s decade-old Urban Age program explores how the physical and social are interconnected and enter the collective conscience. The New Urban Agenda’s mantra of “urbanization as an engine of sustained and inclusive economic growth, social and cultural development, and environmental protection” with its “potential contributions to the achievement of transformative and sustainable development” seems irrefutable and was adopted by all member states.

However, just because it is written does not necessarily mean it shall be. Reality is unpredictable. Ominously, on the final day of the conference, after days of a smoothly run operation, there was a sudden power outage. The whole complex of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, where the majority of the conference was located, was temporarily thrown into darkness. As people exited the dark lecture theaters, eyes squinted against the bright sunlight, rumors circulated that there were power surges causing explosions on the grid and that the city was without electricity, perhaps even the whole country. An hour or so of presentations, though written weeks before, were wiped from existence.

Leaders often turn to architecture to make concrete ideas that are, in reality, abstract constructions and Dr. Clos was no different in this regard when he asserted that the New Urban Agenda is contingent on “three pillars” of development: the rule of law, good design, and a sound financial plan. By the end of the conference they were being expounded almost as if they were fundamental laws of nature: “Without these three pillars in a good manner, well balanced, we don’t have good urbanization. You can have excellent project design of two pillars but if … any one of them fails, all the systems fail.” Unsurprisingly, architects across history have been among the biggest exponents of using architectural rhetoric to imbue an underlying natural order to their ideas. Though Dr. Clos is an epidemiologist by training, his image of three pillars conjures the spirit of the likes of Vitruvius, Vignola, and Le Corbusier. Though subsequent societies came to recognize these men’s “laws,” as polemical constructs, now that the New Urban Agenda has been adopted it would seem that Dr. Clos’s words have become a fixed reality for many.

Aravena has an enthusiastic belief in these laws. In fact, his practice, Elemental, provides the perfect example of the three pillars at work. In his evening Urban Talk, Aravena explained the financially sustainable building models his practice develops that allow the construction of homes at scale. He informed us that crucial to his projects, in addition to the relationship between the state and the market, a third element is utilized: the capacity of the people themselves. This dynamic, exemplified in his Incremental Housing concept, is where people expand on their homes within a preset framework when they have the means. Aravena’s model exemplifies how good design enables people who start with nothing to become property owners and even sell and reinvest.

This goes to the heart of a key idea pervading the New Urban Agenda. Bundled up in the preeminence of the city is an ideology that increasing land values will unlock wealth and prosperityfor all, in what the president of the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, George McCarthy, said is a virtuous cycle: “… when new investments made in infrastructure and services increase the size of the tax base, and increase the value of the land, it becomes the source of new own source revenues and those revenues become available to make new investments…” Essential to delivering on the New Urban Agenda is a strategy based on market economics. In this context, fears over the right to the city are understandable. With growing inequalities in urbanized and urbanizing regions, how can the prosperity of the many be guaranteed?

It is possible to have come away from the conference believing that the world’s leading thinkers on urbanization were broadly in agreement about their faith in the strategies underlying the New Urban Agenda. Except, beyond the high fences and security barriers protecting the Habitat III venues, other events were taking place that ran counter to this, such as “The Alternative Habitat,” organized by activists, community organizers, and researchers who felt left out of the official process. Invisible from any official program, the geographer David Harvey gave an energizing talk at the university on the Right to the City.

Professor Edgar Pieterse of the African Centre for Cities was one of the few speakers to plainly spell out the political economic challenge when speaking on a panel in the conference discussing the UN Green Cities partnership: “… it does require that we also talk about the political economy of vested interests… There are a set of infrastructure economies, financial actors, and financial markets that have a vested interest in the unsustainable form of the city.” Pieterse went further, explaining that “60 percent of the labor force is employed in precarious situations. So they don’t have the revenue or the income to live in these beautifully, carefully planned cities. They don’t.”

However, delve further into the implications of Clos’s pillars, and the whole conception of democratic place making could be brought into question. “First and foremost,” he argued, “urbanization should be based on the rule of law. Good urbanization is based in good urban legislation and its implementation. Good urban legislation generates urban value.”

But how might the rule of law be enforced? The foregrounding of these ideas will have fundamental impacts on the development of cities and their architectures with potentially dangerous unintended consequences. When Clos dictated that “… the natural form of spontaneous urbanization is the slum,” it seemed clear that his insistence on the rules of law is most acutely directed at developing nations and their regions of rapidly expanding informal settlements. What troubles him is that in the coming years, developing countries will provide the greatest growth. Current UN estimates show that Africa alone will account for 54 percent of global population growth by 2050, the majority of which will bein cities. These are precisely the places where the social contract is weakest, making the rule of law, regulation, and planning the most difficult and antagonistic to implement. So, if the price of establishing the New Urban Agenda is expropriating land and increasing municipal revenues by imposing new, ever-inventive forms of taxation that also target the poor, without addressing Pieterse’s pertinent point about securing jobs, then UN-Habitat might inadvertently be framing the city as the territory of a battle between elite policy makers, planners and politicians, and the urban poor.

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Traditional and unconventional materials abound at the Venice Biennale

At this year’s Venice Biennale, the title and theme "Reporting from the Front" charges architects from around the world to present projects that “make a difference” on the front lines of the world’s current challenges. A range of topics—refugee immigration, militarized space, social housing, spaces of education, and more—are addressed throughout the show. Though the discussion varies, one concept seems to pervade the show: the novel or uncommon use of materials. The study of material usage isn't outside normal architectural practice. However at this particular Biennale, the conversation surrounding materials, form, and space is taken to an extreme. This is most prevalent throughout the portion of the show that is specifically curated by head curator Alejandro Aravena. The central pavilion and the Arsenale, the two major spaces of Aravena’s show, are filled with projects that present the literal physicalness of materials. This focus on materials is first evident in the main entrances of both spaces. To discuss waste, and take an inward look at the Biennale itself, Arevena reconfigured thousands of pounds of plasterboard and steel studs from the 2015 Art Biennale. The plasterboard was broken and staked into masonry-style walls; the steel studs hang on end from the ceiling. Continuing into the central pavilion, the space opens up to reveal a soaring brick masonry arch by Paraguay-based Solano Benítez. Rather than a typical brick arch, the bricks were configured into thin members, giving the arch a lightness and seeming fragility. Subsequent rooms engage other materials in similarly unconventional ways. Epic bamboo structures and living plant walls are presented by Colombia-based Simón Vélez and Vietnam-based Vo Trong Nghia, respectively. In an exhibit entitled Mud Work! by Germany-based Anna Heringer, a full scale mud structure is built in the center of the gallery. The material studies continue into the Arsenale. As with a handful of other projects, China-based Wang Shu looks at local and traditional building technologies in a series of brick and tile vignettes. International building consultants Transsolar’s contribution is completely composed of light and a thin vail of artificial fog. An entire space is dedicated to a series of sunlight beams coming through the roof of the building into the dark space. Polish architect Hugon Kowalski works in a material nearly polar opposite of Transsolar’s in his garbage and trash-filled exhibit. In more than one case, small structures are built with board-form concrete or simply stacked bricks. Metal scaffolding is utilized in multiple exhibits as well. As a whole, the show is decidedly tactile. There is a great deal to touch and many spaces have a decidedly strong, yet not necessarily unpleasant, smell. Though not completely devoid of models and drawings, most of these typical modes of representation are presented in the National Pavilions, of which Aravena has much less influence. The significance of this strong emphasis on material practices could be read in many ways. Without a frame of reference outside the exhibition, visitors might focus on a proliferation of traditional building techniques and materials. Considering a broader context though, one could easily question the definition, and engagement, of what Aravena defines as the “front” of architectural issues around the world. If Aravena’s assessment is accurate, perhaps we should be expecting to see more and more architect-designed “vernacular” in the coming years.
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Reporting from the Front (in Venice)

In Venice today, there is much less energy then last year's Biennale. There was much hype around Rem Koolhaas and his ambitious, almost spectacular direction. Today, Aravena's understated energy is seen throughout the exhibitions and programming. We got a first look inside the main exhibition at the Central Pavilion. The projects presented are a mixture of research and practice, loosely categorized under a social agenda. The curators gathered a group of very beautiful projects, which oscillate between scrappy and high design, but most are executed well. The majority of projects are not just about framing a condition or local solution, but they also present a design response to it. The first thing visitors see when entering the Central pavilion is a huge masonry arch by Solano Benitez. These brick are arranged using simple formworks made by "unqualified laborers" in Paraguay. Two masons on a cherry picker completed the project, which "turns scarcity into abundance," allowing us to urbanize cities faster and cheaper. Simon Velez's bamboo structures have taken him years of battling logistics and code issues. His use of the highly sustainable material is documented alongside models of these buildings. Across the room is an installation by Vietnamese architect Vo Trang Nghia; he's is bringing plants and agriculture to Ho Chi Mihn City, whose urban landscape has less greenspace than most large cities in the world. The projects in the pavilion are all very beautiful, but it remains to be seen what will come of this collection. Some of the works seem to be more of an aesthetic project than a social one, while others are very much political. Does that make the whole show an aesthetic project? If this is an agenda-based show, are we to learn from it? Is it about appreciating the novelty of some of these projects, or is it about taking the concepts and techniques with us? Will architects listen?
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The Architect’s Newspaper’s first report from the Venice Biennale

AN is back in Italy for the 2016 the Venice architecture biennale—this time with three full-time reporters and two very busy writers. We are covering every national pavilion in the Giardini and installations selected by biennale curator Alejandro Aravena in the spectacular Arsenale and Corderie. We have a few early insights about what Aravena is proposing for this version of the biennale but we want to visit them before commenting and posting on our website. We will be blogging what we find compelling and troubling in-and-out of the official pavilions, offsite palazzos, and public spaces all over la serenissima. The biennale is, for the first time, starting to take on the trappings of a commercial trade fair or convention. For the past two or three iterations of the biennale, there have been more nations without formal pavilions renting buildings around the city. For example, in 2012 Mozambique’s small installation showcased that country's colonial Portuguese buildings. The biennale has never entirely been free of commercialism either. But this year we are seeing a growing number of product manufacturers, architects, and practices coming to Venice and renting space to simply display their wares. They propose hourly meetings with the international design media and hope to play up the celebrity of the event to claim they “were at Venice.” Let’s not forget the architectural biennale was created out the student and worker protests of the late 1960s and has always narrowly tread a region between the commercial and the ideal. Does this mean that the Venice biennale is now like any commercial trade show? We hope to report on this trend and find those installations that have long made this the most important architect event in the design calendar.
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Alejandro Aravena releases project files for free

Man of the moment and Pritzker Prize-winner Alejandro Aravena has released the CAD drawings of four projects that, in his view, have been successful social housing solutions. Aravena announced the availability of the drawings during his speech at the Pritzker Conversation at the UN on April 5th. The public can now download the .dwg files from Studio Elemental Architecture's website free of charge. In doing so, Aravena hopes that they can be utilized by governments and developers struggling to meet social housing demand. Aravena argues that "by 2030 out of the 5 billion people that will be living in cities, 2 billion are going to be under the line of poverty." By allowing his schemes to be open to everyone, the ideas behind them can be developed further. It's his core belief that construction must use "people’s own resources and building capacity to that of governments and market. In that way people will be part of the solution and not part of the problem." Seen here are the firm's Villa Verde Housing in Chile. Related to these designs are the five design conditions that (in Aravena's eyes) best respond to the challenges of housing:
  1. Good location: dense enough projects able to pay for expensive well-located sites.
  2. Harmonious growth in time: build strategically the first half (partition structural and firewalls, bathroom, kitchen, stairs, roof) so that expansion happens thanks to the design and not despite it. Frame individual performances and actions, so that we get a customization instead of deterioration of the neighborhood.
  3. Urban layout: introduce in between private space (lot) and public space (street), the collective space, not bigger than 25 families, so that social agreements can be maintained.
  4. Provide structure for the final scenario of growth (middle class) and not just for the initial one.
  5. Middle-class DNA: plan for a final scenario of at least 775 square-feet or 4 bedrooms with space for closet or double bed, bathrooms should not be at the front door (which is the typical case to save pipes) but where bedrooms are; they may include a bathtub and not just a shower receptacle and space for washing machine; there should be possibility of parking place for a car. None of this is even close to be the case in social housing nowadays.
Aravena also acknowledges that the designs and plans will change in accordance of local regulations and structural codes. He encourages those who use his designs to follow "local realities and use pertinent building materials" rather than stick rigidly to his plans.  
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Here’s every participant working on the Venice Biennale 2016

This year's Venice Architecture Biennale, titled Reporting from the Front, has unveiled its full list of participants. The 15th instalment of the Biennale, directed and curated by the man of the moment, Alejandro Aravena, will occupy venues along the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. There will be work on display from 62 national pavilions, featuring five newcomers: Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Philippines, Seychelles, and Yemen. From this pool of nations, 50 architects will be taking to the Venetian stage for the first time. This year's event will also witness an infusion of youth never seen before with 33 of the featured architects being under 40—a first for the Biennale. “There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life," said Aravena. "This is what we would like people to come and see at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: success stories worth to be told and exemplary cases worth to be shared where architecture did, is and will make a difference in those battles and frontiers.” Together, they will contribute work that addresses concurrent issues such as: segregation, inequalities, peripheries, access to sanitation, natural disasters, housing shortage, migration,  informality, crime, traffic, waste, pollution, and the participation of communities. “It is not easy to achieve such a level of expansion and synthesis; they are battles that need to be fought," Aravena continued. "The always menacing scarcity of means, the ruthless constraints, the lack of time and urgencies of all kinds are a constant threat that explain why we so often fall short in delivering quality. The forces that shape the built environment are not necessarily amicable either: the greed and impatience of capital or the single mindedness and conservatism of the bureaucracy tend to produce banal, mediocre and dull built environments. These are the frontlines from which we would like different practitioners to report, sharing success stories and exemplary cases where architecture did, is and will make a difference.”

Here's the full list of participants:

Albania “I Have Left You the Mountain” Commissioners: Albanian Ministry of Culture. Curators: Simon Battisti, Leah Whitman-Salkin, Åbäke. Exhibitors: Etel Adnan, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Mourid Barghouti, Claire Fontaine, Yona Friedman, Anri Sala, Michael Taussig, Yanis Varoufakis, Ornela Vorpsi. Site: Arsenale

Argentina experimentAR - Poéticas desde la frontera Commissioners: Federico Gonzalez Perini. Curator: Atilio Pentimalli. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

Armenia Independent Landscape Commissioners: Ministry of Culture, (Vartan Karapetian).Curator: Sarhat Petrosyan. Site: Chiesa di Santa Croce degli Armeni, Calle dei Armeni, San Marco 965

Australia The Pool – Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia Commissioners: Janet Holmes a Court AC. Curators: Amelia Holliday and Isabelle Toland (Aileen Sage Architects) with Michelle Tabet. Exhibitors: Conversations with Olympians Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe (Anna Funder and Christos Tsiolkas; musician Paul Kelly; environmentalist Tim Flannery; fashion designers Romance Was Born; and art curator Hetti Perkins). Site: Giardini

Austria Places for people Commissioners/Curator: Elk Elke Delugan-Meissl with Liquid Frontiers. Exhibitors: Caramel architects, EOOS, the next ENTERprise architects. Site: Giardini

Bahrain Commissioners: Sh. Mai Al Khalifa. Curators: Anne Holtrop e Noura Al Sayeh. Site: Arsenale

Belgium BRAVOURE Commissioners: Christoph Grafe, Director Flanders Architecture Institute. Curator: bravoure architecten de vylder vinck taillieu - doorzon interieur architecten - filip dujardin. Site: Giardini

Brazil Commissioners: Luis Terepins, Bienal de São Paulo Foundation.Curator: Washington Fajardo. Site: Giardini

Canada “EXTRACTION” Commissioners: Catherine Crowston, Art Gallery of Alberta. Curator: Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Exhibitors: OPSYS / RVTR. Site: Giardini

Chile Against the tide Commissioners: Cristóbal Molina (National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile). Curators: Juan Román, José Luis Uribe. Exhibitors: Felipe Aranda, Ximena Cáceres, Claudio Castillo, Ximena Céspedes, Gabriel Garrido, Carolina Guerra, Juan Francisco Inostroza, Yasna Monsalve, Felipe Muñoz, Daniel Prieto, Javier Rodríguez, Jonnattan Silva, Carolina Solís, Tanya Vera, Cesar Verdugo. Site: Arsenale

China Daily Design, Daily Tao-Back to the ignored front Commissioners: China Arts & Entertainment Group (CAEG).Curator: Jingyu Liang. Exhibitors: Approach Architecture Studio, Drawing Architecture Studio (Han Li, Yan Hu), in+of architecture (Lu Wang), People’s Architecture Office (Zhe He, James Shen, Feng Zang), Run Atelier (Hao Wang, Man Ye), Qun Song, View Unlimited Lanscape Architecture Studio CUCD (Xie Xiaoying, Yan Tong, Haitao Huang, Qu Zhi), Wuyong (Ma Ke), Jingxiang Zhu (Unitinno+CUHK), Jing Zuo. Site: Arsenale

Czech Republic & Slovakia Care for Architecture: Exemplum of the Slovak National Gallery or Asking Arche of Architecture to Dance Commissioners: Monika Mitášová, Monika Palcová. Curators/Exhibitors: Benjamín Brádnanský, Petr Hájek, Vít Halada, Ján Studený, Marián Zervan (Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and University in Trnava). Site: Giardini

Côte d'Ivoire Live differently Commissioners: N’Guessan N’Dri Barthelemy. Curator: SOSSAH Francis. Exhibitors: Ministère de la construction et de l’urbanisme, Ministère de l’habitat et du logement social, Ministère de la culture et de la francophonie, Ordre des architectes, Ecole d’architecture d'Abidjan. Site: Palazzo Bembo e Palazzo Mora

Croatia “We Need It-We do it” Commissioners: Zlatko Hasanbegovic, PhD, Minister of culture; Ministry of Culture. Curator: Dinko Peracic. Exhibitors:Dinko Peracic, Slaven Tolj, Miranda Veljacic, Emina Višnic. Site: Arsenale

Denmark Commissioners: Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre. Curators: Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss. Exhibitors: 3XN; AART architects; Adept; AI; Anders Abraham & Christina Capetillo; Anders Peder Larsen; Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects; Arcgency; Arkitektfirmaet Merete Lind Mikkelsen; Arkitema Architects; BCVA Architecture; BIG; BO FROST architects; CEBRA; CF. Møller Architects;Christensen & Co architects; COBE; COLORCLOUDSTUDIO;DISSING+WEITLING architecture; Dorte Mandrup Architects; EFFEKT; ELKIÆR + EBBESKOV; Erik Brandt Dam architects; Erik Møller Architects; Force4; Frans Drewniak & Philip Rahm; Frederiksund Municipality; Friis & Moltke Architects Gottlieb Paludan Architects; Herzog de Meuron; JAJA architects; Jakob Knudsen; Jan Gehl; Jane Havshøj Architects; Jes Vagnby; JJW Architects; Johan Mottelson; Jonathan Meldgaard Houser; Junya Ishigami; Karlsson Arkitekter; KHR Arkitekter; Kim Loudrup; KRADS; Kristine Jensens Tegnestue; Lenschow & Pihlmann; LETH & GORI; LUMO Architects; Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects; Mathilde Petri Architects; Middelfart Municipality and Middelfart Wastewater Utility; Mikkelsen Architects; Møller & Grønborg; Nicolai Bo Andersen; NORD Architects Copenhagen; ONV Architects; POLYFORM; Powerhouse Company Copenhagen; Roskilde Municipality;  RUBOW Arkitekter; schmidt hammer lassen architects; SLA Architects; SLETH Architects; SNE architects; Spektrum Arkitekter; Svendborg Architects; THIRD NATURE; Toposfære IVS; TRANSFORM; Tyra Lea Amdisen Dokkedahl; URBAN AGENCY; Vandkunsten Architects; Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects; WE Architecture; Wienberg Architects and Frier Architecture; Schønherr; Henning Larsen Architects. Site: Giardini

Egypt ReframingBack/ImperativeConfrontations Commissioners: Ahmad Hilal. Curator: Ministero della Cultura. Exhibitors: Eslam Zenbaey, Luca Borlenghi, Gabriele Secchi, Mostafa Salim. Site: Giardini

Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania The Baltic Pavilion Commissioners Estonia: Raul Järg Commissioner Lettonia: Janis Dripe ( Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia) Commissioners Lithuania: Ona Lozuraité, Jonas Žukauskas. Curators: Karlis Berzinš, Jurga Daubaraite, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraityte, Niklavs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zarina, Jonas Žukauskas. Exhibitors: Architekturos Fondas, Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus. Site: Palasport G.B. Gianquinto, Castello, Calle S. Biagio

Finland From Border to Home - Housing Solutions for Asylum Seekers Commissioners: Juulia Kauste Museum of Finnish Architecture. Curator: Marco Steinberg. Exhibitors: a team; Lindberg & Erdman; Society Lab with the participation of alt Architects; D.A.T. PANGEA + QUATORZE; Helsinki Kasbah Combine; Satoshi OHTAKI. Site: Giardini

France Nouvelles du Front, Nouvelles Richesses Commissioners: Institut Français, ministère de la culture et de la communication - direction générale des patrimoines.Curator: Frédéric Bonnet - OBRAS e AJAP 14 (PNG, Boidot & Robin, Studio 1984, Studiolada, Boris Bouchet, Claas architectes, R Architecture, NeM / Niney et Marca architectes). Site: Giardini

Germany Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country Commissioners: Peter Cachola Schmal, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM). Curator: Oliver Elser, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM). Exhibitors: Something Fantastic. Site: Giardini

Great Britain Home Economics Commissioners: Vicky Richardson. Curators: Shumi Bose, Jack Self, Finn Williams. Exhibitors: ÅYR, Pier Vittorio Aureli e Martino Tattara (Dogma) con Maria S. Giudicci (Black Square), Julia King, Jenna Sutela Hesselbrand. Site: Giardini

Greece “Challenging architecture on site of crisis” Commissioners: General Secretary of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, Ms Eirini Klampatsea. Curators: SADAS-PEA (the Greek Architects Association).Exhibitor: SADAS-PEA (the Greek Architects Association). Site: Giardini

Hungary æctivators. Locally active architecture Commissioners: Júlia Fabényi. Curators: Gábor Fábián, Dénes Fajcsák. Exhibitor: Arkt. Site: Giardini

Iran Commissioners: Ministry of Road and Urban Development Hamed Mazaherian. Exhibitors: Saba Engineering Events Association. Site: Arsenale

Ireland Losing Myself Commissioners: Niall MacLaughlin. Curator: Yeoryia Manolopoulou. Exhibitor: Níall McLaughlin (Níall McLaughlin Architects). Site: Arsenale

Israel "A is for Architecture, B is for Biology" Commissioners: Arad Turgeman. Curators/Exhibitors: Ido Bachelet, Bnaya Bauer, Arielle Blonder, Yael Eylat Van-Essenn, Noy Lazarovich. Site: Giardini

Italy TAKING CARE – Progettare per il bene comune Commissioners: Federica Galloni, Direttore Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo. Curators: Simone Sfriso, team Curatorsale Massimo Lepore, Simone Sfriso, Raul Pantaleo TAMassociati. Site: Tese delle Vergini all’Arsenale

Japan beyond - SHARING Commissioners: The Japan Foundation. Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana. Exhibitors: mnm (Mio Tsuneyama); ondesign (Osamu Nishida); Erika Nakagawa; Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma, Yuri Narus; Naka Architects’ Studio (Toshiharu Naka, Yuri Uno); Nousaku Architects (Fuminori Nousaku, Junpei Nousaku); miCo. (Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara); Levi Architecture (Jun Nakagawa); Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (Shingo Masuda, Katsuhisa Otsubo); Koji Aoki Architects(Koji Aoki); 403architecture [dajiba] (Takuma Tsuji, Takeshi Hashimoto, Toru Yada); BUS (Satoru Ito, Kosuke Bando, Issei Suma); dot architects (Toshikatsu Ienari, Takeshi Shakushiro, Wataru Doi). Site: Giardini

Kazakhstan (New) Commissioners: Minister Muhamediuly Arystanbek.

Korea The FAR Game: Constraints Sparking Creativity Commissioners: Arts Council Korea. Curators/Exhibitors: Sung Hong KIM, Eungee CINN, Keehyun AHN, Seungbum KIM, Isak CHUNG, Daeun JEONG. Site: Giardini

Kuwait Between East and West, A Gulf Commissioners: NCCAL. Curators: Hamed Bukhamseen e Ali Karimi. Site: Arsenale

Luxembourg Tracing Transitions Commissioners: LUCA Luxembourg Center for Architecture, Andrea Rumpf. Curators/Exhibitors: Claude Ballini, Serge Ecker, Daniel Grünkranz, Panajota Panotopoulou. Site: Ca’ de Duca, Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco 3052

Macedonia 
No Man’s land Commissioners: Ivanka Apostolova. Curator: Stojan Pavleski. Exhibitors: Stojan Paveski, Ivan Simeonov, Gjorgji Radovanovic e Ljupcho Tasevski.

Mexico Dispiegamenti e Assemblaggi  (Despliegues y ensambles) Commissioners: María Margarita Segarra Lagunes.Curator: Pablo Landa Ruiloba.Exhibitors:David Mora Torres, Valeria Prieto, Mariano Arias-Diez, Alejandro Suárez Pareyón, César Augusto Guerrero Rodríguez, Mariana Ordoñez Grajales, Jorge Andrade Narváez, Paloma Vera, João Boto Matos Caeiro, Javier Toscano Guerrero, Isadora Hastings, Melba Denisse García, Álvaro Lara Cruz, Juan Carlos de la Garza Madero, Juan José Santibañez, Luz Yazmin Viramontes, Juan Alfonso Garduño, Jesús Roberto Nuñez, Rodolfo Samperio, Alfredo Hidalgo Rasmussen, Daniel Filloy Ring, Juan M. Casillas Pintor, José Carlos Lavalle Alonzo, Alexa Mabel Pacheco, Carlos Hagerman, Jesús Álvarez, Lara Becerra, Betsaid M. Moreno Corona, Jorge A. Rivera, Aarón Gutiérrez, Raúl Cárdenas Osuna. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

Montenegro Project Solana Ulcinj Commissioners: Dijana Vucinic Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. Curators: Bart Lootsma, Katharina Weinberger. Exhibitors: ecoLogicStudio, London; LOLA, Rotterdam; LAAC, Innsbruck. Site: Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3079

Nigeria  (New) ‘Diminished Capacity’ Commissioners: Nkanta George Ufot (Ministry of Information and Culture). Curator: Camilla Boemio. Exhibitor: Ola-Dele Kuku.

New Zealand “Future Islands” Commissioners: Tony Van Raat. Curator: Charles Walker. Exhibitors: Kathy Waghorn, Jessica Barter, Stephen Brookbanks, Maggie Carroll, Bruce Ferguson, Minka Ip, Jonathan Rennie, Rewi Thompson. Site: Palazzo Bollani, Castello 3647

The Netherlands BLUE: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions Commissioners: Het Nieuwe Instituut. Curator: Malkit Shoshan. Site: Giardini

Finland, Norway & Sweden In Therapy - Nordic Countries Face to Face Commissioners: ArkDes, The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (Sweden). Adjunct Commissioners: The Finnish Museum of Architecture (Finland) and Nasjonalmuseet (Norway). Curators: David Basulto, James Taylor-Foster. Site: Giardini

Perù "OUR AMAZON FRONTLINE" Commissioners: José Orrego. Curators: Sandra Barclay e Jean Pierre Crousse. Exhibitors: Ministero dell’Istruzione Peruviano, “Progetto Plan Selva” Capo Progetto Elizabeth Añaños e con Claudia Flores, Sebastian Cilloniz, Jose Luis Villanueva, Miguel Chavez, Gino Fernandez, Alvaro Echevarria, Alfonso Orbegoso, Luis Miguel Hadzich, Carlos Tamayo. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

Phillipines (New) Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City Commissioners: National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Felipe M. de Leon. Curator: Juan Paolo de la Cruz, Sudarshan Khadka Jr., Leandro Locsin (LVLP Partners). Site: European Cultural Center - Palazzo Mora, Strada Nuova 3659

Poland “Fair Building” Commissioners: Hanna Wróblewska. Curator: Dominika Janicka, in cooperation with Martyna Janicka and Michal Gdak. Site: Giardini

Portugal NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo Commissioners: Carlos Moura-Carvalho. Curator: Nuno Grande e Roberto Cremascoli. Exhibitor: Álvaro Siza Vieira. Site: Campo di Marte, Giudecca (tra Calle Mason e Calle Michelangelo Buonarroti – vaporetto: Zitelle)

Romania SELFIE AUTOMATON Commissioners: Attila Kim. Curator: Tiberiu Bucsa. Exhibitors: Tiberiu Bucsa, Orsolya Gal, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Arama, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. Site: Giardini e Nuova Galleria dell'Istituto Romeno di Venezia Palazzo Correr, Campo Santa Fosca, Cannaregio 2214

Russia V.D.N.H. Commissioners: Semen Mikhailovsky. Curator: Sergey Kuznetsov. Site: Giardini

Serbia HEROIC: Free Shipping Commissioners: Ivan Raskovic. Comitato Scientifico: Ljiljana Miletic Abramovic, Igor Maric, Aleksandar Bobic, Milan Ðuric, Vladimir Milenkovic, Vesna Cagic Miloševic, Maja Ciric. Exhibitors: Stefan Vasic, Ana Šulkic e Igor Sjeverac. Site: Giardini

Seychelles (New) Commissioners: Benjamin Rose. Curator: Andres Ramirez.

Singapore At The ‘Home Front’ Commissioners: Jeffrey Ho, Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council. Curator: Wong Yunn Chii, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

Slovenia Home@Arsenale Commissioners: Matevž Celik, Museum of Architecture and Design, MAO. Curators: Aljoša Dekleva e Tina Gregoric (dekleva gregoric architects). Site: Arsenale

Spain UNFINISHED Commissioners: Iñaqui Carnicero + Carlos Quintans. Curator: Carnicero + Quintans. Exhibitors: Contemporary Spanish Architecture. Site: Giardini

Switzerland "Incidental Space” Commissioners: Sandi Paucic e Marianne Burki, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Curator: Sandra Oehy. Exhibitor: Christian Kerez. Site: Giardini

Thailand Class of 6.3 Commissioners: The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture. Curator: Teeranuj Wongwaisayawan. Exhibitors: Pitupong Chaowakul, Chatpong Chuenrudeemol, Jeravej Hongsakul, Kanika R’Kul, Jun Sekino Chutayaves Sinthuphan, Suriya Umpansiriratana, Twitee Vajrabhaya, Varudh Varavarn. Site: Arsenale

Turkey Darzanà: Two Arsenals, One Vessel Commissioners: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV). Curators: Feride Çiçekoglu, Mehmet Kütükçüoglu, Ertug Uçar. Exhibitors: Hüner Aldemir, Caner Bilgin, Hande Cigerli, Gökçen Erkiliç, Nazli Tümerdem, Yigit Yalgin. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

United Arab Emirates Transformations: The Emirati National House Commissioners: Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. Curator: Yasser Elsheshtawy. Site: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

United States of America The Architectural Imagination Commissioners: Monica Ponce de Leon. Curators: Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. Exhibitors: Marcelo López-Dinardi and V. Mitch McEwen, A(n) Office, Detroit, Michigan Kelly Bair and Kristy Balliet, BairBalliet, Chicago, Illinois, and Columbus, Ohio, Greg Lynn, Greg Lynn FORM, Los Angeles, California Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, GeorgiaMarshall Brown, MARSHALL BROWN PROJECTS, Chicago, Illinois Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, MOS Architects, New York, New York Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom, Pita & Bloom, Los Angeles, California Albert Pope and Jesús Vassallo, Present Future, Houston, Texas Preston Scott Cohen, Preston Scott Cohen Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts Stan Allen, SAA/Stan Allen Architect, New York, New York Thom Moran, Ellie Abrons, Adam Fure, and Meredith Miller, T+E+A+M, Ann Arbor, Michigan Andrew Zago and Laura Bouwman, Zago Architecture, Los Angeles, California. Site: Giardini

Yemen  (New) Beautiful Yemen Commissioners: Mr. Ayed Ali Al-Shawafy, Undersecretary for Cultural relations, Ministry of Culture, Yemen. Site: Arsenale

ull list of participants (via www.labiennale.org) 1. 51N4E (Brussels, Belgium) Freek Persyn; Johan Anrys 2. ADNBA (Bucharest, Romania) Andrei Serbescu; Adrian-Ioan Untaru 3. Aires Mateus (Lisbon, Portugal) Francisco Aires Mateus; Manuel Aires Mateus 4. Al Borde (Quito, Ecuador) David Barragán; Pascual Gangotena; Marialuisa Borja; Esteban Benavides 5. Alexander Brodsky (Moscow, Russia) 6. Alonso de Santos Estudio (Madrid, Spain) Francisco Alonso de Santos 7. Amateur Architecture Studio (Hangzhou, China) Wang Shu; Lu Wenyu 8. Anupama Kundoo Architects (Auroville, India) Anupama Kundoo 9. Architecture and Vision (Bomarzo - Viterbo, Italy) Arturo Vittori 10. Arno Brandlhuber + Christopher Roth (Berlin, Germany) Arno Brandlhuber; Christopher Roth 11. Assemble (London, Great Britain) 12. Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan) Yoshiharu Tsukamoto; Momoyo Kaijima; Yoichi Tamai 13. Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner (Haldenstein, Switzerland) Peter Zumthor 14. Barozzi / Veiga (Barcelona, Spain) Alberto Veiga; Fabrizio Barozzi 15. Batlle i Roig Arquitectes (Barcelona, Spain) Enric Batlle; Joan Roig 16. BeL Sozietät für Architektur (Köln, Germany) Anne-Julchen Bernhardt; Jörg Leeser 17. Bernaskoni (Moscow, Russia) Boris Bernaskoni 18. Block Research Group, ETH Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) Philippe Block; Tom Van Mele WITH Ochsendorf, DeJong & Block (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) John Ochsendorf; Matthew DeJong; Philippe Block AND WITH Escobedo Construction (Buda, Texas, USA) David Escobedo 19. C+S Architects (Treviso, Italy) Carlo Cappai; Maria Alessandra Segantini 20. Cadaval & Solà-Morales (Barcelona, Spain) Eduardo Cadaval; Clara Solà-Morales 21. Cecilia Puga (Santiago, Chile) 22. Christ & Gantenbein (Basil, Switzerland) Emanuel Christ; Christoph Gantenbein WITH Stefano Graziani 23. Christian Kerez Zürich (Zurich, Switzerland) Christian Kerez 24. David Chipperfield Architects (Berlin, Germany) David Chipperfield 25. designworkshop: sa (Durban, South Africa) Andrew Makin 26. El equipo Mazzanti - Giancarlo Mazzanti, Carlos Medellín, María Mazzanti (Bogotá, Colombia) Giancarlo Mazzanti 27. Ensamble Studio (Madrid, Spain) Antón García-Abril; Débora Mesa Molina 28. EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung (Hamburg, Germany) Michael Braungart 29. Estudi d'Arquitectura Toni Gironès (Barcelona, Spain) Toni Gironès 30. Estudio del Paisaje Teresa Moller & Asociados (Santiago, Chile) Teresa Moller 31. Film First (New York, USA) Gary Hustwit 32. Forensic Architecture (London, Great Britain) Eyal Weizman 33. G124 (Gruppo di lavoro del Senatore Renzo Piano) (Rome, Italy) Renzo Piano 34. Gabinete de Arquitectura (Asuncion, Paraguay) Solano Benítez; Gloria Cabral; Solanito Benítez 35. Grafton Architects (Dublin, Ireland) Yvonne Farrell; Shelley McNamara 36. Grupo EPM - Departamento de intervenciones urbanas sostenibles (Medellín, Colombia) Horacio Valencia 37. GrupoTalca (Talca, Chile) Martín del Solar; Rodrigo Sheward 38. Herzog & de Meuron (Basil, Switzerland) Jacques Herzog; Pierre de Meuron WITH Agav Films (Paris, France) Amos Gitai 39. Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects (Helsinki, Finland) Saija Hollmén; Jenni Reuter; Helena Sandman 40. Hugon Kowalski + Marcin Szczelina (Poznan, Poland) Hugon Kowalski; Marcin Szczelina; Klaudia Dopierala; Maria Dondajewska 41. Inês Lobo, Arquitectos (Lisbon, Portugal) Inês Lobo 42. Jiakun Architects (Chengdu, China) Liu Jiakun 43. João Luís Carrilho da Graça (Lisbon, Portugal) 44. José María Sánchez García (Madrid, Spain) 45. Kashef Chowdhury / Urbana (Dhaka, Bangladesh) Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury 46. Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA (Tokyo, Japan) Kazuyo Sejima; Ryue Nishizawa 47. Kengo Kuma and Associates (Tokyo, Japan) Kengo Kuma 48. Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany) Francis Kéré 49. LAN (Paris, France) Umberto Napolitano; Benoît Jallon 50. Luyanda Mpahlwa DesignSpaceAfrica (South Africa) Luyanda Mpahlwa 51. M. Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Vittoria – Ragusa, Italy) 52. Manuel Herz Architects (Basil, Switzerland) Manuel Herz 53. Marte.Marte Architects (Weiler, Austria) Bernhard Marte; Stefan Marte 54. Matharoo Associates (Ahmedabad, India) Gurjit Singh Matharoo 55. menos é mais (Porto, Portugal) Francisco Viera de Campos; Cristina Guedes 56. NLÉ (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Kunlé Adeyemi 57. Norman Foster Foundation (Madrid, Spain) Norman Foster WITH Redline-EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) Jonathan Ledgard WITH Ochsendorf, DeJong & Block (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) John Ochsendorf ; Matthew DeJong; Philippe Block WITH Block Research Group, ETH Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) Philippe Block; Tom Van Mele 58. OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Rem Koolhaas 59. ORG Permanent Modernity (Brussels, Belgium) Alexander D'Hooghe, Luk Peeters, Natalie Seys 60. Paulo David (Funchal, Portugal) 61. Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Concepcion, Chile) Mauricio Pezo; Sofía von Ellrichshausen 62. Rahul Mehrotra and Felipe Vera (Cambridge, Washington, USA) Rahul Mehrotra; Felipe Vera 63. Raphael Zuber (Chur, Switzerland) 64. Recetas Urbanas (Siviglia, Spain) Santiago Cirugeda 65. Renato Rizzi (Venice, Italy) 66. Robust Architecture Workshop (Colombo, Sri Lanka) Milinda Pathiraja 67. Rock Garden (Chandigarh, India) Anuj Saini 68. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (London, Great Britain) Richard Rogers; Graham Stirk; Ivan Harbour 69. Rural Studio, Auburn University (Newbern, Alabama, USA) Andrew Freear; Rusty Smith 70. Rural Urban Framework, The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) Joshua Bolchover; John Lin 71. SAAS (Porto, Portugal) Samuel Gonçalves 72. School of Architecture, University of Waterloo (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) Robert Jan van Pelt; Anne Bordeleau; Sascha Hastings; Donald McKay 73. Simon Velez (Bogotá, Colombia) 74. Souto Moura - Arquitectos, S.A. (Porto, Portugal) Eduardo Souto de Moura 75. SPBR Arquitetos (São Paulo, Brazil) Angelo Bucci 76. Studio Anna Heringer (Laufen, Germany) Anna Heringer WITH Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst (Schlins, Austria) Martin Rauch WITH Architekturmuseum der TUM (Monaco, Germany) Andres Lepik 77. Studio Jaeeun-Choi (Tokyo, Japan) Shigeru Ban Architects (Tokyo, Japan) Jaeeun-Choi; Shigeru Ban 78. Studio Mumbai Architects (Mumbai, India) Bijoy Jain 79. Studio Snozzi (Locarno, Switzerland) Luigi Snozzi 80. Studio TAMassociati (Venice, Italy) Massimo Lepore; Raul Pantaleo; Simone Sfriso 81. Tadao Ando Architect & Associates (Osaka, Japan) Tadao Ando 82. Tatiana Bilbao Estudio (Mexico City, Mexico) Tatiana Bilbao WITH Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura (Mexico City, Mexico) Rozana Montiel WITH Dellekamp Arquitectos (Mexico City, Mexico) Derek Dellekamp WITH Alejandro Hernández (Mexico City, Mexico) 83. Transsolar (Stuttgart, Germany) Matthias Schuler WITH Anja Thierfelder Freie Architektin (Stuttgart, Germany) Anja Thierfelder 84. TYIN tegnestue (Trondheim, Norway) Yashar Hanstad; Andreas Grønvedt Gjertsen 85. VAVStudio (Iran) Arash Aliabadi; Afshin Farzin; Saman Shamsbeki; Sakhi Shirmohammadi; Amin Tadjsoleiman 86. Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Hanoi, Vietnam) Vo Trong Nghia 87. Werner Sobek (Stuttgart, Germany) 88. ZAO / Standardarchitecture (Beijing, China) Zhang Ke
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Pritzker Jury: Pathway to The Stars?

What does it mean when the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize—Chile’s Alejandro Aravena—just came off the jury of the very same award? He was on the jury from 2009 to 2015 and all the jurors from 2015 (The Lord Palumbo (Chair), Alejandro Aravena, Stephen Breyer, Yung Ho Chang, Kristin Feireiss, Glenn Murcutt, Richard Rogers, Benedetta Tagliabue, and Ratan N. Tata) were on the 2016 jury—except Aravena?  Two past winners were on the jury prior to receiving the award, but won 5 years after departing. Shigeru Ban served from 2006-9 and won in 2014. While Fukihiko Maki was a juror from 1985-88 and won in 93. Aravena's quick turnaround suggests that there is an emphasis on a definition of architecture that Aravena represents and was put on the jury to make a case for…or that he is part a network that makes these decisions and leads to friends nominating friends for the prize.  Is this common in the world of international awards and prizes or is this how stars are made in 2016?  
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Alejandro Aravena of ELEMENTAL Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena of ELEMENTAL is having a banner year. The Chilean architect—and director of the upcoming 2016 Venice Biennale—has been named the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is best known for his socially-minded approach to architecture—namely housing and disaster relief. Aravena has a number of completed projects that range from “chairs” for sitting on the ground (commissioned by Vitra) to a master plan for Santiago, Chile in the aftermath of a 2010 magnitude 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. ELEMENTAL’s work with social housing includes a series of “half-finished homes,” a new model for housing designed for the poorest members of society. By leaving the units spaced, the architects allow future users to add-on and personalize their housing, which makes social housing an investment rather than simply a front-end cost. It was first tested at Quinta Monroy (completed 2003) in Iquique, Tarapacá, Chile, and was then replicated at Villa Verde (2010) in Constitución, Maule Region, Chile and their Monterrey Housing (2010) in Monterrey, Mexico. In June 2011, in an interview with AN West Coast Editor Mimi Zeiger, Aravena said: "Social housing is a question with intellectual merit. It is a tough question—a challenge, a professional challenge. We had to acccept the constraints in the market. Follow all the constraints, then your solution may be replicated. Prove the point that you can do better, then the market can imitate you. It is not about building one unit, but about building 100, because the market operates at that scale. We went for the real thing. Once you decompose the constraints—that is the good thing about being an outsider—you ask the stupid questions. When you are in a given field you are overwhelmed by the problem.” Aravena’s 2016 Biennale opens in May and will be themed "Reporting From the Front.” It aims to explore how architecture is battling in the real world to confronting the social and political issues that we are faced with today. It should pick up—to some extent— where the Chicago Biennial left off last fall. According to the Pritzker committee: Alejandro Aravena has delivered works of architectural excellence in the fields of private, public and educational commissions both in his home country and abroad.... He has undertaken projects of different scales from single-family houses to large institutional buildings.... He understands materials and construction, but also the importance of poetry and the power of architecture to communicate on many levels."
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Breaking: Alejandro Aravena Named Director of 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture

Its final. Alejandro Aravena has been named Director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Chilean architect will have just 10 months to prepare the exhibition, which opens May 28. He follows David Chipperfield and Rem Koolhaas in directing the exhibition. Aravena is from Santiago, Chile, where he directs the firm ELEMENTAL S.A., a multi-disciplinary design office that works on projects in a range of scale. He is possibly best known for his Siamese Towers, and was named by Herzog + de Meuron as one of the Ordos 100. He has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. According to director Paolo Baratta,“After the important experimental Biennale developed by Rem Koolhaas, dedicated entirely to the curator’s research, it is our belief that we must follow up with a Biennale that convenes the architects, and is dedicated to the exploration of the new frontier that demonstrate the vitality of architecture, a frontier that spans across various parts of the world and shows architecture engaged in providing specific responses to specific demands. This Biennale intends to react once again to the gap between architecture and civil society, which in recent decades has transformed architecture into spectacle on the one hand, yet made it dispensable on the other. Among architects of the new generation, Alejandro Aravena is, in our opinion, the one who can best describe this reality and highlight its vitality. He continued, “The 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be about focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo. We would like to present cases that, despite the difficulties, instead of resignation or bitterness, propose and do something. We would like to show that in the permanent debate about the quality of the built environment, there is not only need but also room for action”. Aravena said of the appointment, “There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life. This is what we would like people to come and see at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: success stories worth to be told and exemplary cases worth to be shared where architecture did, is and will make a difference in those battles and frontiers”.