Australian Pavilion Directors Announced for 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

VB Portraits-3449The team set to develop the Australian pavilion for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale was announced last night, which saw a group of creatives prove that good design can turn setbacks into opportunities.

The team – comprised of Perth designers felix., Sophie Giles, Simon Anderson and architectural historian Philip Goad – is the first from Western Australia to win the coveted directorship.

Faced with the lack of a completed building (Denton Corker Marshall’s design for the new Australian pavilion will be under construction during the event), the team came up with a concept that would feature works of architecture while utilising new technologies rather than traditional exhibition spaces. Augmented Australia 1914-2014 will bring ten historical designs and ten unbuilt public buildings to life with the help of three-dimensional models, voiceovers, images and animations.

“Augmented Australia was conceived as a response to the pavilion-less site in Venice 2014,” the team said. “Using technology as the primary medium for displaying the exhibition content enabled the possibility for the exhibit to expand beyond constraints of a typical exhibition format; stretching throughout the giardini and the piazzas of Venice with geo-positioned full scale replicas of unbuilt works from the past 100 years.”

One of the most exciting aspects of the projects is its use of smartphone technology, which turns flat images into three-dimensional renders with the help of a custom-designed app (follow the instructions below for a preview).linebreak


Instructions: Download the ‘Luminous’ app by felix. from the app store for iPhones or Google Play for androids. Point the phone camera at the trigger image and wait for the augmented visual to appear.

The directors will be calling for expressions of interest for the ten historical works, which will be selected on the basis of their adherence to the biennale’s theme of ‘Fundamentals’, chosen by Rem Koolhaas.

“There are many projects that are very important to the history of architecture in Australia which have been either demolished or were never realised. Architecture by its nature can be fickle because of the economic investment involved in procurement of a building.”

The team is thrilled to participate in the 2014 biennale, as history (or the lack of a longstanding cultural heritage) has been a perennial influence on Australia’s architecture. “We have one of the youngest constructed histories as a country. After Federation we began defining and redefining our identity through architecture. We have the freedom of lacking substantial historical built fabric: we have a fringe culture, which allows experimentation. We see Australia as excitingly architecturally edge of center; rich with meaning.”

Words: Dijana Kumurdian
Photography (hero image): Alexander Mayes


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