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Biennale Sessions

Abstracts of the Universties participating in the project Biennale Sessions

Slovak University of Technology – Faculty of Architecture
Fundamental errors
Manifests of modernism are calling for demolishing of the old and for building the new one. In the area of Central Europe, we realized this challenge literally and several times. Central Europe has never been a peaceful place to build. Since the birth of modernism, we rewrote the history at least five times. 100 years since the beginning of the first World War, more than 100 years after Marinetti, and we rewrite our history at least five times. It is strange that we need to overwrite history and to create a fundamentally new and better one from scratch every twenty years. Again and again we lay a new layer, which completely masks the old ones. We need to save the basic elements of our history - the fundamental blocks of our social identity. Architecture is political and therefore it is a great barometer of society. Is it possible to look into the depth, to reveal layers down there underneath the surface of nowadays? Do we have the courage to seek for continuity? Courage to uncover the stories of places, buildings and exceptional people? Let's name our jewelry... let's demolish our horizontal thinking, let's enter into the depths.

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Ion Mincu  University of Architecture and Urbanism session
Organized within the Venice Architecture Biennale - 14th International Architecture Exhibition
Title: The Modernity in-between Vision and Inquiry
Info: date: 26.09.2014, hours: 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Venue: Sale d'Armi Nord, Arsenale
The seminar is approaching the Fundamentals Biennale theme, from the contextual identity perspective. The subjects touch:  the origins of modern language, the visual modern identity and the Romanian National Pavilions’ expression in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition.
Beyond the contextual identity, the discussion is oriented as an applied exercise in the direction of global interpretation. Centring the thematic research  exposed in the Central Pavilion in Giardini  - Elements of Architecture - the workshop question the evolution.  The exercise aims to underline and question the models re-loading in  the modern  and contemporary architecture vocabulary. Workshop topic: Elements of Architecture- Evolution?
Speakers: arch. PhD. Lecturer ANA MARIA CRISAN,  PhD. Lecturer VLAD EFTENIE , arch. PhD. lecturer EMIL IVANESCU,  arch. PhD. Lecturer ALEXANDRU CRISAN, arch. assist. ALEXANDRA PACESCU. Moderator : arch. PhD. conf. FRANCOISE PAMFIL.
Coordinator:  arch. PhD. Lecturer ANA MARIA CRISAN

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The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. School of Architecture

Searching for the fundamental elements of architecture
9th – 11th September 2014
Workshop arranged by:
The postgraduate program SET- Settlement, Ecology & Tectonics
Studying the fundamental elements of architecture presented by the director of the 14th international architecture exhibition Rem Koolhaas in the Biennale’s Central Pavilion introduces a new discuss focusing on the historical development of these basis elements as an alternative way of understanding the history of architecture. During this three day workshop at the Biennale 50 students from SET will analyse, discuss, challenge and develop the discuss of the exhibition by adding new layers to the material and aspects presented. In this way the workshop will expand the understanding of the 12 elements chosen by Koolhaas questioning: How fundamental are the fundamentals of the exhibition?

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Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem - The Department of Architecture

Urban Webs and Enclaves: The UnPhotographable
 9 September 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Sale d’Armi, Arsenale
The (K/cool) question regarding the fundamentals in architecture challenges our "after-party" era to return to the classic origins of architecture and readdress that which has been erased and forgotten in the white noise of (the age of) mechanical reproduction during the last century - the unphotographable.
The impact of photography/media on architecture is significant to the manner we think architecture since - and not just relate to it as a periodic style. Architecture is published, not just built. And yet, it still appears as if the aesthetics-anaesthetics nature of photography/media (in Buck-Morss’ words) has preferred the tourist over the dweller, object over space and building over city.
Based on these insights, we conducted a workshop with a group of architecture students at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. The workshop began with the outline of a classically proportioned field of 1000 X 500 m, in a 1:500 scale. Upon this field we outlined a grid, thus setting an apparatus for research on a human scale as space and time. Through teamwork, the field was transformed into an imaginary fragment of human space-time-action. The 2D grid became a 3D web; the resultant spatial conflicts generated enclaves, and light performed as a mediating tool to illuminate the poetics of webs and enclaves, bringing forth the unphotographable as a fundamental aspect of architecture.
Arch. Rivka Gutman
Arch. Daniel Mintz
Students from the Department of Architecture:
Osama Abu Jaber, Zohar Isenberg, Inbal Amoyal, Yaara Beja, Etamar Ben Hamou. Rina Ben Shimol, Emily Lyat Dichter, Racheli Hermon, Mika Levi, Natan Cherniakov, Oren Rogovin, Shelly Rachel Shmulewich Shalev, Ginosar Wolf Hansel, Sapir Yechiel, Lihi Jelin, Noy Levin, Lihi Magen 

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The Oslo School of Architecture and Design - Institute of Form, Theory and History

This years new architect students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, will start off their studies in the city of Venice, and at the Venice Biennale. The day of the seminar will be used in the national pavilions, studying the relationship between the architecture of the pavilions and the architecture of the exhibitions. This dialogue shall be interpreted and presented through a diagram.  The students reflections in these diagrams, will be the starting point for an open discussion in the seminar. The seminar will be held in Norwegian.
Anna Røtnes
Assistant professor AHO

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Cairo University - Faculty of Engineering, Architecture Department
Seminar Moderator: Dr. Karim Kesseiba
The seminar held by students of Architecture at Cairo University will be divided into two main points of discussion. First, is a general argument of the different pavilions explored, taking into consideration the different stages of understanding National Architecture, World Wars, Modernism and Globalization. This discussion will be based on the general Theme of the Biennale this year, “Fundamentals”. This part discusses the intellectual outcomes of the contributions and their relation to the national history and Modernism, with focus on how countries from the Middle East relate to the dilemma of representation in the shadows of Modernity. The second part will be focused on the Egyptian pavilion, with discussions related to the competition which took place earlier to select the contributors. Selected entries from the original competition will be discussed to question whether the implemented selection was successful in delivering the required message after implementation or not.

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Aalborg University - Department of Civil Engineering
Feed Europe  August 22, 2014 (2.30 pm to 4 pm)
The Feed Europe Summer School project seeks new synergies which challenge present discussions on sustainability and reformulate the role of the built environment in this matter. By joining civil engineering, art, architecture, city planning, and food studies in a multidisciplinary approach the Summer School aims at unfolding a hitherto unseen potential for addressing both environmental and societal issues through architectural and artistic innovation. 
This aim is motivated by the conjoined action in the European Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme – awarded on initiative of Department of Civil Engineering in cooperation with Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology, Aalborg University.
The project organization behind the Summer School is based on the four main partners: Aalborg University, lead partner, with researchers from Architecture, Civil Engineering and Integrated Food Studies; Politecnico de Milano with researchers from Architecture and Urban Studies; Gerrit Rietveld Accademie, Amsterdam, with researchers from Fine Arts; and Lund University with researchers from Architecture and Built Environment.

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Università Iuav di Venezia - Dipartimento di Culture del progetto

promoted by
Università Iuav di Venezia - Dipartimento di Culture del progetto
Faculté d’Architecture dell’Université de Liège
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura dell’Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture dell’Université de Strasbourg
with the participation of
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, dell'Ambiente, del Territorio e Architettura – Università degli Studi di Parma
scientific commitee
Mauro Marzo, Cristiana Mazzoni, Rita Occhiuto, José María Sánchez García
project coordinator
Mauro Marzo, Università Iuav di Venezia - Dipartimento di Culture del progetto
Tourism super-imposes its own rules on the apparently stable form of the cities of art. Its hierarchies change the consolidated urban equilibrium, create congestion and difficulty of access to the monumental areas, altering the nature and use of public spaces.
In view of these general issues, the seminar “Venice and Tourism” - which will be held August 5, 2014 as part of the “Biennale Sessions” and that is the final stage of the Erasmus Intensive Programme "Cities of Art and Tourism" made with the support of the European Community - takes Venice as a specific object of investigation, examining the sites most marked by the presence of visitors and reflecting on possible design solutions in order to imagine circumstances in which the economic resource of tourism can take many forms appropriate to the city’s equilibrium.

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Università Iuav di Venezia - Dipartimento di architettura, costruzione e conservazione
DETAILS, architecture seen in section
Workshop organized by prof. Umberto Trame and prof. Marco Pogacnik, IUAV University Venice
Sala delle Armi, Arsenale
8-9-10th July 2014
Scientific project
Prof. Marco Pogacnik, Research Unit The Art of Building 
Andrea Ambroso, Iuav Venezia
Marco Capitanio, Zurich
Alberto Franchini, Iuav Venezia
Orsina Simona Pierini, Politecnico Milano
Luka Skansi, Iuav Venezia
Claudia Tessarolo, Iuav Venezia
Graphic project by Luka Skansi
Workshop set-up by Andrea Ambroso
IUAV Journal by Alberto Franchini
Video by Stefano Zara and Valeria Cusinato
The master degree course Architecture and Innovation, of the Dipartimento di Progettazione e pianificazione in ambienti complessi participates to the Biennale_Sessions with a project developed within the research unit The Art of Building. The project, open to all IUAV students, has been organized in the form of a seminar, investigating the architectural language from the perspective of construction details.
Rem Koolhaas’ Venice Biennale, titled “Fundamentals”, deals with the basic components of  architectural language (i.e. door, window, ramp, etc.). Our research, rather than investigating the taxonomy of Fundamentals, focuses on their syntax. We suggest to investigate the syntax of the “architectonic sentence”: the joint where the façade relates to the roof, the window to the wall or the wall to the ceiling
The connection point of architectural elements and structural parts is always of special significance to the architect's work as well as to the observer's eye. The structural soundness of a building and the effectiveness of its expressive articulation depend on this point of connection.
The workshop presents 200 construction details of post World War II buildings of special architectural relevance drawn by IUAV students. A detail section can synthetically express the constructive and architectural quality of a building: its exterior cladding, skeleton and palette of materials, whether it is a load-bearing wall or a simple infill. The students were asked to work in scale 1:10 redrawing construction details and preparing a series of thematic panels presenting an overview of contemporary architecture.
The workshop includes also original material from many architecture and engineering offices. The designers were asked to make a statement about their notion of details and the role they play in their daily practice. Among the offices that accepted to participate there are: Burkhalter-Sumi, Barkow-Leibinger, Kahlfeldt Architekten, Werner Sobek, Artec Wien, Hermann Czech, Boris Podrecca, Dominique Perrault, Miller & Maranta, Conzett Bronzini Gartmann, Pascal Flammer, Peter Maerkli, Carlos Ferrater OAB, Studio Valle, C+S Architects, Tezuka Architects, Kengo Kuma, Emilio Tuñón, Cino Zucchi Architetti, Bevk Perovic arhitekti, Shim + Sutcliffe, Park associati, Peripheriques Architects, Laps Architecture, Gigon/Guyer Architekten, Walt+Galmarini, Hild und K Architekten, Kahlfeldt Architekten, Labics, Elasticospa, Staufer+Hasler, Navarro Baldeweg Asociados.
Discussants to the seminar, 9th July 2014, 3 pm:
Prof. Arch. Pierre Alain Croset, Turin Polytechnic
Arch. Francesco Pagliari, The Plan
All offices involved with the research are invited to join the tree-day event at the Biennale.
Mediapartner: “The Plan” architecture magazine, editor Nicola Leonardi

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Spiru Haret University - Faculty of Architecture, Bucharest

Play Context. Play Evolution. Play Bucharest
Our proposal focuses on the central area of Bucharest, site of the incomplete Civic Centre started in the 1970s. Following a political decision, almost 1/5 of the city, host of many historical buildings and memories was wiped out. A monumental axis and out of scale administrative buildings were implanted onto the severed urban fabric, as an ostentatious proof of new society values. Aesthetics, materials and attitude towards the remaining context are indifferent to any former and current architectural style and culture. It has nonetheless become the defining puzzle of the city, even if politics, economics and culture have since evolved. What we aim at is to provoke thoughts through a game like approach. Imagine the site as a canvas/ board for your own interventions, trying to fill in the gaps, to friendly connect to your fellow playmates. Is completion possible? Is the void to remain a witness of history? Your objective and unbiased opinion is needed.

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Leibniz Universität Hannover - Department of Urban Design and Planning

A pattern language  14 June 2014, 10:30-12:30 at ASAC Library
Workshop of Leibniz Universität Hannover (department of urban design and planning)
in collaboration with Università IUAV di Venezia
Starting with an actualized interpretation of Christopher Alexander's concept, this workshops aims to a research by design approach towards fundamental urban patterns, that relate urban elements in various scales (SMLXL) and refer to cultural and social needs. The workshop will be based on students' work analyzing places of Venice's urban pattern, focussing on the relational conditions they have been created for, and looking out for uses and transformations they actually are submitted - but also for the power of spatial frameworks that influence actual interpretations and adaptions. In the workshop the concept of urban patterns will be addressed by contributions of Jörg Schröder, Maddalena Ferretti, Sarah Hartmann, Ines Lüder (Leibniz Universität Hannover) and Laura Cipriani (Università Iuav di Venezia). The re-reading of the patterns of Venice, of hybrid systems of built up elements, of open spaces, and infrastructures, aims furthermore to refresh discussions how to teach urbanism.

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Department of Digital Arts, University of Applied Arts Vienna
On-Line  June 7, 2014 (5 pm to 7 pm)
The natural sciences have taught us for decades that crucial ideas do not come into being along a predictable timeline of causality, but such factors as intuition, the unplanned or even “accidents” have a major impact. No doubt: CAD software and digital databases are of undeniable value. But they cannot replace the human ability to uncover and establish connections and connotations in an intuitive and even emotion-driven way. “Art is magic, freed from the lie of being truth”, wrote Theodor W. Adorno in his Minima Moralia. Although we live in times where truth is simulated or rather feigned by the apparent objectivity of indicators, figures and statistics, our society is not a machine, neither a mechanical nor a digital one. It lives from subjects, identities, dreams and desires. One of the main qualities of the arts was and is to generate identity not only by allowing, but even more by encouraging subjectivity, denying objectivity and addressing individual desires as well as social demands.
Dr. Gerald Bast, President
University of Applied Arts Vienna

With reference to the conceptual framework of the 14th incarnation of the International Architecture Exhibition set out by its curator Rem Koolhaas, we aim at looking into the future of a practice, whose spatial narratives are increasingly shaped by the predominance of technological ecologies, which have long come to exert significant influence over the perception and subsequent interpretation of our natural and man-made environment. Seen from a contemporary perspective, the modernist promise of neverending progress appears to merge seamlessly with our day-to-day experience of a presence, mediated by vast amounts of digital information. With the performance titled OnLine, we attempt to address the fundamental importance of digital media for our sense of living in a social world by means of audio-visual information, which is gained through the presence of its visitors only. While a face recognition algorithm exemplifies the self-similarity of meta-communities, its code is being played back to the audience within the ultrasonic wave spectrum. A new User generation is born, faceless, reduced to the recursive logic of an algorithm, connected to and pulled by the forceful promise of a progressive
symbiosis between technology and humanity.

Head of Department:
Prof. Ruth Schnell
Organisation and artistic supervision:
Prof. Ruth Schnell and Wolfgang Fiel
Idea, concept and performance:
Andras Eichstaedt, Magdalena Marie Friedl, Ludwig Hammel, Fritz Hermann, Thomas Hochwallner, Johannes Hucek, Anton Iakhontov, Rafael Ludescher, Bobby Rajesh Malhotra, Hanna Mikosch, Tina Muliar, Shahab Nedaei, Sebastian Pirch, Julia Tazreiter, Norbert Unfug, Henner Wöhler
Additional Performers:
Matthias Lasser, Johannes Schrems
UAVs (quadcopters), car batteries, electronics, costumes, computers, directional microphones, directional speakers, speakers, cameras, projections, WLAN, various social media applications

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University of Novi Sad–Department of Architecture and Urban Planning

is an interactive workshop of students* from University of Novi Sad–Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Biennale Sessions.
The nature of the happening is dual.
Firstly, with the aim to expand the knowledge about the presence and work of women architects all around the world, the visitors of the exhibition will be asked to join the interactive workshop and give feedback about buildings in their cities which were designed by women.
Secondly, it will be a presentation of the website WOMEN ARCHITECT OF NOVI SAD,  WWW.W-A-NS.COM, which introduces a specific part of our architectural identity – women architects who shaped the built environment of Novi Sad (the second largest city in Serbia) over the last century. The website contains results of a research conducted by a group of architecture students and practicing architects G91 and it’s a contribution to the database on the city’s contemporary architecture - from this specific point of view.
Workshop leaders:  Andrea Tamaš and Ivan Stanojev
*students of Architecture and Scene design

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of Architecture
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest
Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design /MOME/ is a 130-year-old school in which architecture has been playing an important role from the beginning.
Since MOME is an art school, our approach toward architecture is rather sensitive and often experimental – both in architecture and furniture design.
But at the same time we pay special attention to develop the inteligence of hands.
We have a special programme, called: LEARNING BY DOING.
In the second semester of architectural design we give our students a design task what we build during the summer.
Usually  in a remote place we build a wooden construction for the local community within two weeks, with 12-14 students. Among others we have built a bell tower in Transylvania, pedestrian bridge and lookout tower in the Orség, a place located at the western border of Hungary.
We believe that this is a very creative way of learning architecture, a unique experience for young people who wants to understand the FUNDAMENTALS of ARCHITECTURE.
Tamas Nagy architect
Head of Architecture at MOME

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The College of Management - Academic Studies (COMAS), Rishon LeZion - Department of Interior Design

Adaptive Modernism Workshop
Dean Carmella Jacoby-Volk
Arch. Shelly Cohen
Arch. Rebecca Sternberg
The School of Interdisciplinary Design
COMAS College, Israel
We are proud to present and to host the Use-Re-Use Adaptive Modernism Workshop:
With the ‘Modernist Project’, like baby-boomers, now approaching late-life, we are facing the challenge of what to do with canonic (and non-canonic) modernist buildings. Designed and built throughout the 1950-70’s much of this building stock materialized conceptions of the ‘modernist city’ with an array of housing, civic and public architectures.
The Use-Re-Use: Adaptive Modernism workshop aims at rethinking the current value and role of the modernist built tradition within evolving and divergent cultural, economic, political and social settings.
Experiencing a dramatic shift in the urban realities, occupancies, uses, economics and physical upkeep of the building stock of the near past, ‘Use-Re-Use’ calls for a highly contextual and evolving trajectory for buildings and fabrics conceived and built under the guise of a “universal” modernist disposition. 
How can we re-evaluate, re-conceive, re-invest, re-diversify, re-claim, re-mediate, re-develop the modernist project in the context of contemporary forces of urbanization.
Going beyond the polar options of preservation or demolition – the sessions will focus on the tactics and tangible potentials of adaptive re-use of modernism’s built repository.
The workshop will include 10 minute presentations by 27 international participants, grouped into 3 hour round tables: Aging, Users, Leftovers. The geographic spread of presentations and multiple scales of reference will offer different vantage points for assaying modernism’s built legacy across a range of contexts.
Hosted by The School of Interdisciplinary Design, COMAS College, Israel
Workshop will be held at SALA F at the Giardini Venice, on June 7th between 12:00 – 5:10 pm.
The sessions and discussion are free and open to the public.
We welcome your participation.

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Public Institution “Architecture Fund” (Vilnius, Lithuania)


Architecture Fund will present three bottom-up and voluntary-based projects that were initiated and developed by architecture students and young architects in Lithuania during the last couple of years. These projects are interconnected by the act of realization, different ways of social interaction and present a fresh attitude to what are the f u n d a m e n t a l s  for the young generation. In the light of biennale, three real stories celebrating the value of Real Things will be told and discussed by people who initiated and ran the projects. 

The session will be held in English.

Read more abstracts (in Italian) >>
Elements of Architecture
The fundamentals of our buildings, used by any architect, anywhere, anytime
41 installations crossing the Italian territory from South to North, and beyond
Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014
National Participations at the 14th Exhibition