FREESPACE, thoughts from the 2018 Biennale - Italy Pavilion

Mario Cucinella Architects MCA,

Ken Schluchtmann,

Venice, Italy,

Biennale di Venezia, Pavilions,


During the preview of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, we wandered around the Arsenale and the Giardini to take a look at the national representations.

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FREESPACE, thoughts from the 2018 Biennale - Italy Pavilion During the preview of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, we wandered around the Arsenale and the Giardini to take a look at the national representations. The first pavilion we visited was Italy's "Arcipelago Italia", curated by Mario Cucinella (MC A). He will be featuring in a dedicated evening at FAB Berlin on 13 June.

Arcipelago Italia is a manifesto that points to possible ways forward for the revival of interior territories, to restore value and importance to architecture and because the work of the architect must reclaim a role of social responsibility”. These are the words that Mario Cucinella, architect and curator of the Italian Pavilion used to introduce Arcipelago Italia.
The pavilion was installed in its customary location, the Tese in the Arsenale of Venice and showcases the key elements of Cucinella's exploration of how architecture can offer Italy a chance to be reborn, becoming a tool for discussion and an aid to the community and local governance. A solid theme with real implications that turns the focus onto rural areas again, something we also saw in other national pavilions like Ireland or Latvia.
The words “The Future is the Product of Present Actions” stand out in glowing letters in the first Tesa (one of the covered pavilions where the sails of old ships used to be stretched or "tese"), which centred on eight itineraries developed by Cucinella's multidisciplinary team and showcasing detailed groundwork and new ideas for the Italian territory on the right, and where the docufilm “L’altro spazio” (the other space) produced by SOMEONE srl was screened in a small auditorium on the left.
The Tesa Maggiore included a selection of contemporary architecture projects, displayed using attractive models on tables, whose shapes and spatial distribution refer to the title - Arcipelago Italia  - as you can see in the exclusive photos taken during the preview. Here, the goal of the narrative was also to raise awareness of the lesser known part of Italy - the country areas - where you can find so much of the Italian creative scene, despite all the difficulties that go with being outside major metropolitan centres. 
This is where one example of the great creativity and innovation that go hand-in-hand with the Made in Italy scene - Iris Ceramica Group - contributed its materials to craft a 10-metre long backdrop made up of 300x100 cm high-tech ceramic slabs. The structure was customised with the use of the Group's innovative “DYS - Design Your Slabs” technology made to a hand-drawn design by  Mario Cucinella, filling the space and demonstrating the design concept and the areas of action selected to the general public.
Arcipelago Italia will be joined by a busy schedule of workshops and events throughout the Architecture Biennale - you can find all the details on the dedicated site of the Italian Pavilion.
The first - really special - event will be held on 13 June 2018 in the FAB Architectural Bureau in the Sarotti-Höfe, Kreuzberg, Berlin, where a round table discussion on the Biennale theme, FREESPACE will be introduced on the basis of the photographs taken by Ken Schluchtmann. As we mentioned above, Mario Cucinella (MC A), architect and curator of the Italian pavilion will be there, along with Lars Krückeberg from the GRAFT architecture firm who is part of the curatorial team of the German pavilion called Unbuilding Walls, and Christine Edmaier, president of the Berlin federation of architects.
A great opportunity to find out lots more from two of the key players at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition and to delve further into the various aspects of the “Freespace” theme.

Christiane Bürklein

16th International Architecture Exhibition
26 May - 25 November 2018
curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara
Italy Pavilion - Arcipelago Italia
Curator: Mario Cucinella
Management and sponsorship: Giulia Floriani
Project coordinator: Irene Giglio
Research and development: Valentina Porceddu, Valentina Torrente, Laura Zevi
Process development: Giuliana Maggio
Exhibition design: Giovanni Sanna, Cecilia Perotti
Models: Yuri Costantini, Andrea Genovesi
Social Media: Alessia Ravaldi
Advisors to the curator: Mario Abis, Antonella Agnoli, Aldo Bonomi, Maurizio Carta, Luca De Biase, Roberta Franceschinelli, Alex Giordano, Ezio Micelli, Antonio Navarra, Fabio Renzi, Paolo Testa
Graphic design: ZUP
Communication: PPAN
Video concept and production: Francesco Paolucci
Docufilm: Made by Studio Nicama Prodotto of SOMEONE srl
Catalogue: Quodlibet, Annex - Viaggio in Italia, Domus
Photos of the exhibition: ken schluchtmann - diephotodesigner.de
Event on 13 June 2018: http://www.fab-architectural.de/events/berlin/event-22-berlin/186