The 16th edition of the international architectural exhibition of the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, has opened its gates to the public on 26 May 2018. Since 1991, this exhibition is part of the La Biennale di Venezia. Initially it ran for only four weeks and since 2014 the exhibition period has been extended to six months. This current show will be open to visitors until 25 November 2018. The country pavilions truly make this a global exhibition. In 2018, 63 countries agreed to voluntarily participate and so show their support and commitment to this world-class architecture exhibition. Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects curated this year’s displays under the theme ‘Free space’. They transformed Giradini and Arsenale in Venice into an art, architecture, and design space reflecting the presence or absence of space and architecture. The participants expressed their ideas and interpretations of the theme in a way that will transport visitors and give them time to pose and contemplate. The architects of the pavilions designed them for the public and with the idea in mind to make architecture more accessible and approachable. Often it is designed for an individual but more often than not a building, a house, a structure is situated in a public space and will influence the surrounding. Or the surrounding will influence the construction of the building. The exhibition will give visitors a chance to learn more about this interconnected relationship. Throughout the show, there are guides who are students and professors of architectural studies from more than 100 universities around the world and who are happy to share their knowledge and insights about the displays, the creators, and the space the installations occupy. Hence, the curators hope to create a free dialogue between the public and the architecture community. To dive deeper into the architectural world, the curators have organized a series of ten conferences that are spread out until November to look at aspects of architecture and design in even more detail. In panel discussions, presentations and talks attendees can learn from renown architects about the latest trends and views. The ‘Meetings on Architecture’ started on 26 May 2018 with the curators, the president of the Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta, Dorte Mandrup, Michael Maltzan, Francis Diebedo Kere, and Marina Tabassum. The exhibition promises to be an exciting collection of contemporary architectural expression and worth a trip to the hauntingly beautiful city of Venice.
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