Venice Biennale Golden Lion Goes to Carnicero for Spanish Pavilion
In May, visiting assistant professor of architecture Iñaqui Carnicero and cocurator Carlos Quintáns were given the Golden Lion at an award ceremony of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
The Golden Lion was awarded to the Spanish Pavilion exhibition Unfinished, which seeks to direct attention to processes more than results in an attempt to discover design strategies generated by an optimistic view of the constructed environment after an economic crisis. Unfinished consists of more than 60 proposals and seven photographic series from a selection of emerging architects whose work offers answers to some of the problems arising from Spain's recent financial crisis. In addition to cocurating, Carnicero designed the pavilion's pivoting doorway.
Carnicero was appointed to the role of cocurator in the fall of 2015 while at Cornell. He was responsible for the theme and what would be displayed, and conducted interviews with many AAP-affiliated architects for videos that would become part of the exhibition. Student participation was key to the process, and in the spring of 2016 Carnicero taught a Special Topics in Architectural Theory course titled Unfinished: Spanish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2016. Arranged as a "think tank" to study the potential of unfinished architecture through lectures, readings, discussions, analytical drawings, and interviews, the course encouraged students "to define a personal line of investigation by doing historical research to explore past strategies that could be applied in the contemporary context."
AAP assisted Carnicero's work in preparing the exhibition by providing financial support and the facilities for him to conduct interviews and other pavilion-related activities. Architecture students and alumni who assisted Carnicero and Visiting Assistant Professor Lorena del Rio with the exhibition were Johanna Grazel (B.Arch. '15), Mikhail Grinwald (B.Arch. '13), Steven Song Ren (B.Arch. '19), and Elena Toumayan (B.Arch. '15). The exhibition remains on display in Venice through November.
Also on display at the biennale was work from students in Water and the City II, the fall 2015 studio of Gensler Visiting Critic Kunlé Adeyemi and visiting critic in architecture Suzanne Lettieri (M.Arch. '11). Lagos Market Bridge, by Rina Kang (B.Arch. '17), and Floating Tower, by Sida Zhang (M.Arch. '16), were part of Adeyemi's exhibition, Makoko Floating School, which took the Silver Lion for a promising young participant. The exhibition also included Terra Pericolosa, a work by Beatrice Goh (B.Arch. '17), Jessica Jiang (B.Arch. '17), and Aashti Miller (B.Arch. '17); and Hiking Circuit, a project created in the spring 2016 studio titled Lo-Res: Architectural Strategies of Localized Resilience, taught by Lettieri and visiting critic in architecture Michael Jefferson (M.Arch '11). Three projects created by architecture students in the fall 2014 studio Floating Cities: Mekong, taught by associate professor of architecture Lily Chi and associate professor of architecture Jeremy Foster, were also included in Adeyemi's exhibition: Aquacultural + Urban Housing by Luke Erikson (M.Arch. '16) with Yongxiao Liu (M.Arch. '16) and Apexa Patel (M.Arch. '16); Building Resilience: Forest Archipelago by Lucas Greco (M.Arch. '16), Andreea Gulerez (M.Arch. ’16), and Sophia Szagala (M.Arch. '16); and Housing + Market by Grazel with Nikki Liao (B.Arch. '15) and Toumayan.
The biennale also recognized the fall 2015 Baird Visiting Critic in architecture Shingo Masuda, of Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects, for his contribution to the Japanese Pavilion, which received a special mention from the judges. Nicholas Doermann (M.Arch.II '16) assisted with that exhibit, titled Boundary Window.
By Patti Witten