press release

The Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Davide Croff, is hosting the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, directed by Richard Burdett, which opens to the public from 10th September to 19th November 2006. Dedicated to Cities, architecture and society, this tenth edition focuses on the key factors facing large scale metropolitan areas around the world: from migration to mobility, from social integration to sustainable growth. For the first time in its history, the International Architecture Exhibition will address the interactions between cities, their built form and their inhabitants. In particular, it will examine the role of architects and architecture in the construction of democratic and sustainable urban communities, and their relationship to good urban governance and lasting social cohesion.

Using photography, film and mixed-media presentations, Cities, architecture and society has been designed by Aldo Cibic and Luigi Marchetti - Cibic&Partners to recreate the urban experiences of 16 world cities in four different continents within the 300-metre long Corderie dell’Arsenale. These include Shanghai, Mumbai and Tokyo in Asia; Caracas, Mexico City, Bogotá, São Paulo, Los Angeles and New York in the Americas; Johannesburg, Cairo and Istanbul in Africa and the Mediterranean region; and European cities such as London, Barcelona, Berlin, and the Milan-Torino area. The exhibition will not only feature information and data on how these cities are being transformed in social, economic and cultural terms but also display new architectural and urban projects that are affecting the way people live, work and move in the dense metropolitan environment of these world cities. In the Padiglione Italia in the Giardini, 12 international institutions will present a cross-section of cutting-edge urban research, with contributions from the Berlage Institute, C-Photo Magazine, ETH Basel Contemporary City Studio, the MIT SENSEable Cities Laboratory, Schrumpfende Städte - Shrinking Cities, The Architecture Foundation, The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA/AMO), The University of Texas at Austin, the Royal College of Art in London, Universidad Iberoamericana, Istituto Universitario Architettura Venezia (IUAV), the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in Mumbai.

These rich urban experiences will be complemented by conferences, student workshops and collateral events, as well as by individual displays from 50 countries contained in the national pavilions and other venues in Venice. Italy’s contribution to the urban theme will be presented for the first time in the Italian Pavilion housed the first Tesa delle Vergini at the Arsenale.

A novelty of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition is the addition of two collateral sections, the Cities of Stone project in Venice, and City-Port in Palermo which complement and expand Cities, architecture and society by exploring specific urban themes and conditions in southern Italy. These two exhibitions in Venice and Palermo, opening on 10th September and 15th October respectively, provide an independent and significant contribution that reflects the objectives of Sensi Contemporanei, a major cultural project promoted since 2003 by the Italian government, through the Ministry for Cultural Affairs-DARC and the Treasury-DPS, and the Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia, for the development of contemporary art and architecture in Italy’s Mezzogiorno. The double objective of this second edition of Sensi Contemporanei project is to promote awareness of the living conditions in southern Italy, stimulating a debate on the urban themes of the exhibitions, and injecting new social and architectural ideas and energy into the Mezzogiorno. Sensi Contemporanei is an innovative project that attempts to draw in the entire country, by removing geographic distance and highlighting local values.

Cities of Stone, curated by Claudio D'Amato Guerrieri, which opens in Venice from 10th September to 19th November, will be held in the Artiglierie dell'Arsenale, and will be divided into three sections: The Other Modernity, Stereotomic Architecture, and Project South (which presents the results of national ideas competition for cities in Southern Italy). An international conference dedicated to the themes raised by this exhibition will take place in Venice in November 2006.

City-Port, curated by Rinio Bruttomesso, will be open to the public in Palermo from 15th October 2006 to 14th January 2007 and will comprise four exhibitions in three sites: City-Port. Local Gate to the Global Market at Palazzo Forcella de Seta; City-Port. Great South, and City-Port. Palermo, Mediterranean, both at S. Erasmo; and the Premio di Architettura Portus (Portus Architecture Prize), presenting the results of a competition for young Italian architects, at the Galleria di Architettura Expa. An international conference related to the themes of these exhibits will take place in Palermo in December 2006.

Another innovation of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition Cities, architecture and society is that the Leoni d’Oro awards for best city, best national pavilion, best urban project and best student contribution will be announced at in November 2006, near the end exhibition, rather than during the opening vernissage. This will include specific awards the two collateral sections, the Leone di Pietra for the Venetian section and the Premio di Architettura Portus for the Palermo section.

There will be a two-volume catalogue of Cities, architecture and society (with one volume dedicated to the international exhibition and a second volume documenting the national pavilions, collateral events, conferences and special projects) published by Marsilio, together with two further volumes dedicated to the collateral sections, Cities of Stone and City-Port.