Venice Biennale Designers Participate in Idea-Tops
Source 26-08-2016Leave a Comment

As an annual international event of architecture and interior design field, works and designers participating in International Space Design Award--Idea-Tops have drawn much attention over the years. In 2015, with 11 pavilions of Milan Expo participating, Idea-Tops caused greater repercussions in a wider world range and more industries. According to Idea-Tops organizing committee, designers from 11 countries that participated in Venice Biennale this year will take part in Idea-Tops with their works in Venice Biennale. A “country VS country” design match will blow up this annual meeting again!

The topic of the 15th Venice Biennale 2016 is Reporting from the Front. The chief curator Alejandro Aravena once said, ‘designing architecture is like launching a campaign, therefore the planning, displaying, writing and discussion about this topic is like reporting a war’. Facing this seeming severe and cold topic, elite designers and teams from different countries can still make good use of their talents. Based on cutting edge design concept, they make the best interpretation of the topic with refreshing and creative works. Meanwhile, except in Venice, many masterpieces of this beautiful contest will be on the international stage of Idea-Tops, including works of British Pavilion, Austria Pavilion, Israel Pavilion, Egypt Pavilion, Nigeria Pavilion, Serbia Pavilion, Armenian Pavilion, and works of Italy, France, Germany, Finland designers and so on.

Idea-Tops is the highest internationalized design award in China, aiming at building the most thoughtful and influential design award globally, finding and awarding the best designers and design works. More and more international famous designers view Idea-Tops as their highest career pursuit. Design works in Venice Biennale are not only bright and beautiful cards of cultural and art fields of each country, but also masterpieces of designers. Their participation is an affirmation to Idea-Tops, which also makes this international stage more competitive, specialized and diverse. 

Brief introduction of participating works and designers/organizations

Hesselbrand Ltd, UK

Hesselbrand is an architecture practice based in London founded by Martin Brandsdal, Magnus Casselbrant and Jesper Henriksson. They have participated in many international events, such as Venice Biennale Debate, RIBA Debate, Newcastle University Lecture, 120 Hours (Jury member), Lund University Lecture and so on. The company has been reported by BBC News, BBC Artsnight, ArchDaily, The Guardian, The Observer, British Council, etc.

Pavilion Introduction

Home Economics presents five new models for domestic life curated through five periods of time. These timescales – Hours, Days, Months, Years and Decades – correspond to how long each model is to be called ‘home’. The projects appear as full scale interiors in the British Pavilion, displaying architectural proposals as a direct spatial experience. In this way, the exhibition is not merely about architecture, it is architecture.

In the show, each room corresponds to one of the five timescales, presented as abstract models built in pigmented MDF that bares no scale reference. Other visual cues are erased by painting the existing building in black and installing a homogeneous linoleum floor. A white screen wall running throughout the pavilion ties each room together and establishes a domestic datum for each MDF model.

Home Economics is the first exhibition on architecture to be curated through time spent in the home, and is dedicated to exploring alternatives to conventional domestic architecture. The design of the exhibition enables visitors to inhabit - if only for a little while - an architectural idea.


Caramel Architekten, Austria

Martin Haller, Ulrich Aspetsberger, Günter Katherl


Caramel architekten is one of the exhibitors of the Austria Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. The company has won various awards, such as “The Best House”, ECOLA Award, “Best Public Building”, etc.


Pavilion Introduction


For the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Caramel’s task was to design the ‘refugee camp’, using a vacant office building in Vienna.

Safeguarding privacy, as in marking a place where someone can rest undisturbed by external influences was, for Caramel, the first and most important subject of their “intervention”. Rather than posing a limitation, the time limit became a constructive part of their thought process. Starting with a minimal design repertoire, Caramel first developed elements for dividing up the space and then creating some privacy in the former open-plan offices. This simple formal language was extended to the design of the communal areas. A central criterion of Caramel architects’ design is that all elements can be rapidly dismounted and easily reassembled in a different location.

Noy Lazarovich, Israel

Noy Lazarovich

Noy Lazarovich is one of the curators and creators of Israel Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is an architect and recipient of the Azrieli Fellows Program scholarship. Completing her BA in Architecture and Town Planning and her MA in Architecture and Materials Science at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Noy currently teaches at the Technion while leading interdisciplinary projects exploring the potential applications of advanced materials in sustainable architecture. She works in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Pavilion Introduction

LifeObject: Merging Architecture and Biology, is a large scale sculptural installation exhibited alongside seven speculative architectural scenarios relating to the Israel spatial reality. The pavilion is re-conceived from a mere exhibition space into a research oriented platform that will foster renewed dialogue between architecture and biology.

At the center of the exhibition is the LifeObject, a free standing structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird's nest. This structure undulates and curves throughout the lower floor of the pavilion. This living structure integrates artificial and natural elements into an organic system. An experimental research approach to matter, LifeObject combines composite, smart and biological materials to form a “living structure” that responds to its environment. Human presence around the LifeObject triggers the opening of cabinet de curiosités filled with biological materials which are expected to have a significant impact on architectural design and construction. 


Ahmad Hilal, Eslam Salem, Gabriele Secchi, Luca Borlenghi and Mostafa Salem, Egypt

Mostafa Salem, Ahmad Hilal, Gabriele Secchi, Eslam Salem, Luca Borlenghi


RB//IC has been selected to represent Egypt at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. The project team led by Architect Ahmad Hilal is composed of Eslam SalemGabriele SecchiLuca Borlenghi and Mostafa Salem. Ahmad Hilal (born in 1991) is currently doing his Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at Politecnico Di Milano as a GOLD scholarship holder. He and Mostafa Salem (born in 1992) hold double degree in Architectural Engineering at MSA University and Greenwich university of London with Honours. Eslam Salem (born in 1992) had his ‘Bachelor Degree’ from Modern Science and Arts (MSA) University with a validation from Greenwich University U.K-with Second Honours (1st Division). Gabriele Secchi (born in 1991) is an architecture student at Politecnico di Milano, attending a double degree program in Building Engineering & Architecture. He had the opportunity to be an exchange student at Tsingua University of Beijing, China. Luca Borlenghi (born in 1992) is a senior undergraduate student at Politecnico di Milano, attending the Double degree program in Building Engineering & Architecture.

Pavilion Introduction

The exhibition’s goal is to re-frame and position in a global forum what we think are examples of a successful architectural and urban conflict resolution where architects, through their work, were the mediators of change, this mediation took the form of built projects, or even research proposals & mappings that attempted to highlight existing problems. The exhibition contains a various investigation about the Egyptian urban condition including sprawl, informal urbanism, desert vernacular architecture, coastal cities, and 19th– and 20th-century heritage buildings which have been all part of the parallel dynamics of growth in Egyptian context for the past half a century.

Ola-Dele Kuku, Belgium

Ola-Dele Kuku is one of the designers of the Nigerian Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. His awards includes the prestigious 'Grand Prize - Prime Minister’s Prize' Award for the IFI Nagoya International Design Competition, 'License of Honour' Tech-Art Prize Award - Vlaamse Ingenieurs kamer, Antwerp, Belgium, etc. He studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Ola-Dele Kuku has lectured and coordinated post-graduate thesis studios in several architecture academies, international conferences and workshops. He participates as guest speaker, at various international conferences on architecture, the environment and socio-cultural development.

Pavilion Introduction

The proposed project theme titled ‘Diminished capacity’, is a reflection of the contemporary global phenomenon of 'Socio-Cultural Conflicts', with specific focus on the role of 'Information / Communication' and the 'Mass Media'. The exhibition will be presented as a reaction to the frictions of social communication and the mass media, vis-à-vis the notion of a unitary tendency of society and common values. The contemporary sociology of mass media communication reveals a consistent presentation of agendas rather than reports which are illustrated by selected interest in particularities, focus and oversight. Diminished Capacity intends to analyze a historical transaction moment with the ambition to rewrite history, starting from Nigeria to provide unpublished interpretations. The wrong reading of Africa transforms the continent itself into a country poised in perpetual opposition to restlessness; what is its identity in forms and structures? “Africa is not a country!” In that conflict, the first Nigerian Pavilion wants to prospect new methodologies.

Sarhat Petrosyan, Armenia

Sarhat Petrosyan is the curator of Armenian Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. He holds M.S. degree in Architecture and Ph.D. in Urban Planning from National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. On 2011 he was elected board member of the Union of Architects of Armenia.

Pavilion Introduction

Independent Landscape is the Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition. Independence is an opportunity and a challenge at the same time. This duality is reflected in all dimensions of public life. The tangible spatial manifestation of this challenge and opportunity is the alteration of the landscape, the “footprint” on the landscape. The Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition-La Biennale di Venezia will announce the launch of a unique landscape mapping laboratory of independent Armenia, which will focus on the study and reinterpretation of spatial transformations and its variations from 1991 to present. The ongoing results of thematic research will be uploaded on website that will immediately appear on the screens of the pavilion, to highlight the importance of the process and in-progress work as the result itself. This pavilion comes to showcase that at this very day and every day human activities alter the landscape.

Igor Sjeverac, Ana Šulkić, Stefan Vasić, Serbia

Igor Sjeverac, Ana Šulkić, Stefan Vasić

Stefan Vasić, Ana Šulkić and Igor Sjeverac are exhibitors of the Serbian Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. All completed Bachelor and Master academic studies (2014) at the faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. Stefan Vasić went on a three-month professional training in China, architectural bureau “CDg group” (Changzhou), where he was engaged in architectural design and interior design. Ana Šulkić went on a three month professional training n India in 2014, at the Manipal Institute of Technology: faculty of Architecture and planning. Igor Sjeverac has participated in several international architecture and design exhibitions in Europe and Serbia.

Pavilion Introduction

Heroic: Free Shipping

The flood is afoot.

The insides of the arc, hideout of the rebellion, radiate hope.

Trench of the revolution has been drawn, from the lower deck we row towards the treasure,

bathing in Blue, which has no boundaries and not a single drop of bad blood.

The mainstay of the project is in the analysis of the contemporary situation and in recognizing the sociological phenomena surrounding the burning problem of the way architecture as a profession treats the newcomers to the field. The kind of intimate addressing contained within motivational letters, where individuals offers their skills to the market, written on the border between the two states, dream and reality, rational and emotional, here and there; goes along with the idea of floating in a frozen moment of time inside the pavilion, while being a sample of the system that it problematizes. The pavilion aspires to raise awareness for the presence of ‘’redundant’’ architects, it celebrates their energy and persistence in desire to make a change, it becomes a symbol of leaving a trace.

C+S Architects, Italy

C+S Architects

C+S Architects has participated in many exhibitions, such as the 15th, 14th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennale. It has won Gold Medal of Italian Architecture, Dedalo-Minosse International Architectural Prize, Vicenza, Italy, Ecola Award, Germany, Copper Concept Award, etc. The company had given lectures in Cambridge University, Bath University and other schools. Besides, C+S has been selected for London Festival of Architecture 2008.

Pavilion Introduction

Equilibrium is a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. A state of physical balance; A calm state of mind; in chemistry: The genius factor of this word is the capacity of describing balance through instability; just like the magical city in which we were born, Venice.

C+S designs a structure which finds balance throughout overhanging; alternating from side to side, rebounding tensions and bringing them back to the center in an effort that has the power of simple stability yet looking endless.

C+S designs a suspended structure, wrapping around the historic column of the Corderie dell’Arsenale in Venice. It holds together memory and a new horizon, moving the spectator’s viewpoint, allowing him/her to climb up without slipping, to sit and also lay on a cork carpet.

C+S designs a volume built through a multiplicity of small steel pieces (270), weld together to generate a self-supporting suspended element without any need of vertical supports. The steel pieces adapt, some of them are visible, others aren’t, but all are fundamental to balance the tensions. Like people, their time, knowledge and skills concur to move to a new possible circular economic model more balanced with our planet.

Studio Razavi Architecture, France 

Alireza Razavi

Studio Razavi Architecture is one of the exhibitors at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. Alireza Razavi (1970) is a registered architect in France (DPLG 1996) and in the US (RA 2005). He holds a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in New York (MSAAD 1998) and a Master’s Degree from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (Aii 1997).  He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Pavilion Introduction

Migration, physical or cultural, has come to define us all. In a global context of ever transforming processes, environments and economies, added layers of complexity force us to constantly adapt and seek new equilibrium.

Our primeval generational connections are diluted, at times lost as fewer and fewer people live where they were born. Grounding becomes central. Our cultural and ancestral markers face the evolution of a fast paced world, creating the need to seek refuge and find meaning within ourselves.

So that “battles are won” our claim is that people’s quality of life cannot affect the quality of the built environment, rather than the opposite. Frontal confrontation will not win this battle, bypassing challenges will. Perspectives are to be found, territories defined by shifting attention to our inner selves.

Let us offer a different relationship to architecture. Let us transition from the notion of inhabitant to in-habited where the end user is considered knowledgeable enough and the architect becomes a facilitator. Contributing to re-building a social link that relies on affect rather than effect.

Let us implement the ancestral rite of the Palaver Tree to bring about a cultural referent that captures our modern customs and our buried senses. An interface to architecture which fosters new conditions to build habitat by calling on our emotions.

The Palaver Tree is the creative methodology which leads to a new focal point, a place where stories and identities are transmitted, a place of exchange and wellness. A place of conversations that leads to criteria beyond esthetics, beyond building and energy codes. A collection of stories to be told, of feelings and senses to be shared and desires brought to the surface; materialized as built space. The Palaver Tree as catalyst for an architecture from within.

The two projects shown at the 2016 Biennale are the outcome of this research, Reported from the Frontline. 

Studio Anna Heringer, Germany

up left: Andres Lepik, up right: Martin Rauch, down: Anna Heringer

Studio Anna Heringer is an exhibitor of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. The design team is composed of Anna Heringer, Martin Rauch and Andres Lepik. Anna Heringer is an honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development. She has received numerous honors, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s GSD, the AR Emerging Architecture Award (twice) and a RIBA International Fellowship. Martin Rauch is also an honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair, and he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modern reinterpretation of technical and creative applications for traditional rammed earth construction. On 14.07.2016, the TERRA Award (the first international prize for earthen architecture) was awarded, and Martin Rauch was given the special prize for technological innovation. In 2011/12, Andres Lepik was a Loeb-Fellow at Graduate School of Design in Harvard University and in May 2012 started as Professor for Architecture History and Curatorial Practice and Director of Architecture Museum of the Technical University of Munich. Since 2013 Andres Lepik is member of the advisory board for Goethe Institute.

Pavilion Introduction

Earth is more than a building material. The relationship between human beings and this material is as old as humankind—but we almost lost contact. This installation invites an experience of this material in a very intimate way. In this exhibition space, one of the primary challenges is convincing clients to believe in the quality of earth: its stability, its haptic treasures, its richness in colors, its positive influence on our body and mind. This is difficult to transmit with pictures. It needs to be touched. This is why designers transformed the exhibition space, with 25 tons of mud, into an immediate experience built in earth.

Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects, Finland 

Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects has been invited to participate in the main exhibition at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. Architects Saija Hollmén (b. 1970), Jenni Reuter (b. 1972) and Helena Sandman (b. 1972) are known for their work in humanitarian architecture in, for instance, Senegal, Tanzania and India, and which has received extensive international recognition. The architect trio takes their expertise to developing countries through Ukumbi, the NGO they established in 2007. The office, which has received several Finnish and international awards, was also in February 2016 nominated for The Woman Architect of the Year 2016 award by The Architectural Review.

Pavilion Introduction

The exhibition presents three community-based design projects: The Women’s Centre (Rufisque, Senegal, 2001), The KWIECO Women’s Shelter (Moshi, Tanzania, 2015), and Learning Centre for garbage collector children (Cairo, Egypt, 2010, unbuilt).

In the declaration commissioned by the Architecture Biennale in Venice the architects describe their objectives as follows:

"Voice to the ones who are not heard. Strength to the powerless, condidence to the quiet and to the ones who fear. In the course of time grows beauty, in beauty trust and dignity. Brick by brick, grant by grant – few are the architects where needed the most."— Slowness Dignified (excerpt) by Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman



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