NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism exhibition

Wednesday 07 Apr 2010

Australia present new images for its exhibition at The Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale, (La Biennale di Venezia) is set to host the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in August 2010. With its offices currently in the newly refurbished Ca’Giustinian, the Venice Biennale has been recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions since 1895. Concentrating on the avant-garde, the organisation hosts many international cultural events besides the Architecture Exhibition, including the Venice Film Festival, the International Festival of Contemporary Dance and the International Festival of Contemporary Music.

This year, Australia’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale is set to present the ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition. A previous competition, ‘Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+’, challenged architects to visualise the urbanised continent 40+ years in the future, and design structures accordingly. The ‘NOW’ element of the exhibition will highlight six of Australia’s most interesting urban and anti-urban regions as they are, before presenting the newly selected concepts of futuristic urban environments from the competition, to give a hypothetical glimpse into 2050 and beyond.

17 final proposals have been selected from a shortlist of 24 submissions, which were chosen from a total of 129 entries. These final proposals were chosen by Australian Institute of Architects' 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale Creative Directors, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec. Melbourne-based architect and Co-Creative Director Ivan Rijavec said: “In what promises to be the Urban Century, the design and planning of our cities is fundamental to our prosperity and survival. The overarching message of the Venice Biennale Exhibition is that Australian identity has gone ‘walkabout’, it has come out of the bush and bedded down in our urban centres. Though outback and bush myths remain seminal to our culture, there is no doubt that the Australian collective consciousness is now urban.

In a creative twist, the concept designs will be shown using a new form of 3D stereoscopic technology, which is said to be beyond that of the latest cinematic releases. The idea behind this is that visitors to the Australian Pavilion, (where the exhibition will be on display) will be able to move around the urban scenes in order to experience them from a variety of perspectives.

The images shown here are examples of the chosen final proposals for the ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’. The Fear Free City was designed by Justina Karakiewicz, Tom Kvan and Steve Hatzellis. It depicts a city ‘free from the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour’ where ‘people will enjoy more recreational time. Movement...happens at all levels allowing for extensive views of the city and surrounding countryside’. On a slightly more dramatic note, Arup Biomimetics’ Ocean City illustrates an ‘underwater city, Syph, spawned from a rise in interest in biomimetic practices and materials in the advent of climate change’. The idea is that in the next 40 or more years, the Australian population will migrate ‘from land to sea because of the sky-rocketing value of disappearing land’. Arup Biomimetics also focus on elements of sustainability, adding that the ‘collection of specialised organisms function as a whole, with some pods being energy producers, some industrial, and others for sustainable farming and food production’. Lastly, Island Proposition 2100 (IP2100) is the work of Scott Lloyd, Aaron Roberts and Katrina Stoll. The design is said to embody ‘hyper-connectivity’, with an ‘IP2100 spine [that] contains a system of hybrid infrastructures, which will link future urban centres and their territories’. Tying this whole infrastructure system together is a ‘magnetic levitation (maglev) technology' transportation device.

The 12th Venice Architecture Biennale opens on 26th August 2010 and the exhibition will be held from 29th August - 28th November 2010.

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

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