Student workshops led by architects Greg Lynn and Hani Rashid to open in June
Press Preview/Vernissage: U.S. Pavilion, Giardini di Castello, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, June 15, and Friday, June 16.
Press Conference: U.S. Pavilion, Giardini di Castello, 11 a.m., Friday, June 16.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, announced the program for the United States Pavilion at the Giardini di Castello as part of the upcoming Seventh Venice Architecture Biennale. From June 18 to Oct. 29, Greg Lynn and Hani Rashid, two highly respected young architects and theoreticians, will lead a studio program and exhibition that will feature the work of architecture students from UCLA and Columbia. The program for the U.S. Pavilion has been developed by Max Hollein, U.S. Commissioner to the Seventh Venice Architecture Biennale, in association with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
Together with a select group of students from the Department of Architecture and Urban Design in the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA and from the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University in New York, Lynn and Rashid will transform the U.S. Pavilion into a research laboratory designed to investigate, produce and present a broad scope of new architectural schemes. During the initial work period, renowned experts and intellectuals from various fields will be invited to the U.S. Pavilion to join the group of students. They will critique the projects, give feedback and stimulate new thought processes regarding the works-in-progress. Following the studio program, a presentation of the students' work and working process will remain on view for the duration of the Biennale.
"Our involvement in the Architecture Biennale, and in this project in particular, manifests once again the Guggenheim's keen interest and participation in the discourse and execution of contemporary architecture," said Thomas Krens, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "Collaborating with the architecture schools at Columbia University and UCLA, two of the leading faculties in the world, is an important gesture toward an emerging generation of young architects."
This program is sponsored by IBM IntelliStation, Chrysler Italia, 3M, Delta Air Lines, Zero Systemic Furniture and BTicino. Support is provided by Precix Advanced Cutting Technologies, Panasonic Italia, RAS, the Walter Lantz Foundation and the William Kinne Fellows Trust. Additional support is provided by Kaindl Flooring, Zumtobel Staff, Bisazza, Dietl International Services, Alias/Wavefront, Bruno and Christina Bischofberger, trivioquadrivio, and Intrapresae Collezione Guggenheim.
A central theme of the studio program is new technology and its application to contemporary housing and other building archetypes such as the airport, performance center, and stadium. For the research and design process, students will treat advanced technologies as a defining factor, rather than by-product, of our complex condition of living, and one that significantly affects our perception of time and space.
"The state of our urban situation cannot be addressed solely with regard to its infrastructure and physical orientation," said Hollein. "New technologies and their effects, such as the instant availability of information, not only transform our daily life and routine but also redefine the very notion of the city itself. Recognizing city structures as process-oriented, fluid environments requires an experimental architecture that is simultaneously physical, virtual and dynamic in its very condition."
Both Lynn and Rashid are professors at American universities (UCLA and Columbia, respectively) with progressive, highly respected architectural faculties. Both are leading architectural education into new areas by embracing technology-driven designs, ranging from the fully tactile product to the all-encompassing but entirely virtual environment. In addition to their outstanding design practices, they have maintained a strong involvement with teaching, which makes them exceptional representatives of a new generation of architects.
"The primary focus in my teaching," said Rashid, "is architectural and spatial research, and experimentation impacted and influenced by the use and implementation of digital technologies." Despite significant differences in their work, both Lynn and Rashid exemplify a new interdisciplinary approach toward architectural research and creation with a focused understanding of high technology as an integral and influential part of the urban context. "The use of computers in the creative process," said Lynn, "mandates that we think of communicative and creative processes in terms of abstract structures, as well as the manipulation and manufacturing of such structures."
In keeping with these developments, the U.S. Pavilion will host a production-in-progress rather than feature a traditional exhibition of work in its final stages. This breeding ground for new ideas will emphasize active participation over conventional review, and will serve as a gathering place for intellectual discourse, an architectural test space and a contemporary research laboratory. Visitors will thus be directly involved with the work and theory of a new generation of architects.
Lynn is a studio professor at UCLA who has been an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University since 1990. He is presently the professor of spatial conception and exploration at the ETH in Zrich and the Davenport visiting professor at Yale University. His office, Greg Lynn FORM, is working in collaborative partnerships with a variety of architects on a range of projects, including a line of international showrooms for PGLIFE.COM; the Cincinnati Country Day School, Cincinnati, Ohio; the Vision Plan for Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.; the Ark of the World Museum, Costa Rica; and the recently completed Korean Presbyterian Church of New York, New York City.
Rashid is an adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia University, and has taught architecture and lectured throughout Europe and the United States. In 1989, along with partner Lise Anne Couture, he formed Asymptote in New York City. Their repertoire ranges from experimental installations and computer-generated environments to building designs and urban planning. Most recently Rashid and Couture designed a large-scale, computer-generated environment for the New York Stock Exchange and an accompanying "Theater of Operations" now installed on the floor of the exchange. Asymptote is also designing the Guggenheim Virtual Museum as a fully interactive, multidimensional, Web-based environment, as well as building projects in San Francisco, New York and Kyoto.