What exactly is the Venice Biennale?

Okay, so you know we’re headed to the Venice Biennale. What exactly does that mean? Our first post will (hopefully) tell you everything you wanted to know about the Biennale, but were afraid to ask.

What is the Venice Biennale’s 12th International Architecture Exhibition?

It’s kind of like a World’s Fair, or an art/architecture Olympics. Countries from around the world organize exhibitions to showcase their best and brightest architects. Each exhibition must fit into that year’s theme. This year, the theme is “People Meet in Architecture.” For more info on the Biennale and its history, check out the website.

How did the High Museum of Art get involved?

High Museum of Art Curator Michael Rooks and Jonathan Solomon of 306090 (spoken as “Thirty, Sixty, Ninety”) created a proposal that was submitted to the U.S. State Department. The State Department convened a committee to review the proposals, and our proposal was chosen. It’s a big deal, really, since the exhibition organized by the High and 306090 represents the entire country. Oh, and the exhibition is called Workshopping. It will be located in the U.S. Pavilion (pictured above), which is part of the Guggenheim.


Exploring the evolving role of designers in relationship to other disciplines, Workshopping will focus not on projects by individual architectural practices, but on collaborative projects. These projects, according to the curators, represent “an evolving constellation of specifically American conditions—the hierarchical model of architectural practice, the mostly regulatory function of government, and the critical role of private corporations and non-profit foundations in driving public projects”—creating a unique new model of design practice.

Who is participating in Workshopping?

None other than…

So, that should cover the basics. We’ll post again when we’re up and running in Venice. The Vernissage (or preview) starts Thursday, and the exhibitions open to the public on Sunday. There will be lots of prep and cool things to report on leading up to the official opening!

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