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Columbia GSAPP at 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture

Kenneth frampton columbia gsapp 2016 a

Kenneth Frampton, Columbia GSAPP’s Ware Professor of Architecture, will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture

Columbia GSAPP Faculty Kate Orff and Laura Kurgan participate in the U.S. Pavilion, while five of the school’s alumni are curating national pavilions for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Mexico, Republic of Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, and The Netherlands

Press Release
20 April 2018
The 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture, Freespace, will feature a strong representation of Columbia GSAPP’s faculty and alumni through special honors, installations, and curatorial projects. In recognition of the alumni-curated national pavilions, the school will host a discussion on their contributions with faculty Felicity Scott and Mark Wasiuta at the Dutch Pavilion Saturday, May 26.


Kenneth Frampton, who has taught at Columbia University since 1972, will be recognized with the highest honor at the Venice Biennale, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia GSAPP and author of numerous seminal books on architecture, including “Modern Architecture: A Critical History”, Frampton is an architect, historian, and educator. At Columbia GSAPP he teaches the seminars “Questions in Architectural History”, “Philosophy in Architecture”, “Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form”, and the long-standing “Studies in Tectonic Culture”, among others. Models of iconic buildings of the 20th Century created by Columbia students in his tectonic course during the late 1990s and early 2000s were the subject of the exhibition Stagecraft: Models and Photos at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery in 2017. His influential teaching was also examined through syllabi, notes, publications, and other documentation in the exhibition Educating Architects: Four Courses by Kenneth Frampton at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, where his archive is held. The annual Kenneth Frampton Endowed Lecture series at Columbia GSAPP was established in his honor in 2011. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture on May 26, 2018. The decision was made by the Board of La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon the recommendation of the Curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.


The U.S. Pavilion’s exhibition, Dimensions of Citizenship curated by Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger, includes the project titled “Ecological Citizens” by GSAPP Director of Urban Design, Kate Orff and her firm SCAPE. The installation is based on SCAPE’s extensive ongoing research on water and cities in the context of climate change, and specifically examines the role of an activist, engaged citizenry in stemming the loss of vanishing coastal intertidal landscapes, with the Venetian Lagoon as a case study.

Laura Kurgan and the Center for Spatial Research she directs at Columbia GSAPP are collaborating with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Robert Gerard Pietrusko on the project “In Plain Sight”, showing anomalies in population distribution seen in nighttime satellite imagery of Earth and census grid counts produced by governments worldwide — revealing places with bright lights and no people and places with people and no lights —challenging assumptions about belonging and exclusion.


The 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture also features the curatorial projects and exhibition work of Columbia GSAPP alumni and faculty:

Nora Akawi (‘11 MSCCCP) is co-curator of “Friday Sermon” for the Kingdom of Bahrain with Noura Al Sayeh, assisted by Gizem Sivri;
Gabriela Etchegaray (‘18 MSCCCP) is curator of “Echoes of a Land” for Mexico, assisted by Marina Povedano;
Marina Otero Verzier (‘13 MSCCCP) is curator of “Work, Body, Leisure” for the Netherlands;
Bika Rebek (‘15 MSCCCP) has co-conceived and designed the first installation for “Living with Water” for the Republic of Slovenia; and

The Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program at Columbia GSAPP was launched in the fall of 2009. In celebration of its alumni’s curatorial contributions to the 2018 Biennale, Felicity D Scott and Mark Wasiuta, co-directors of the CCCP program, will convene a conversation about the projects for the national pavilions. The event CCCP in Venice takes place on Saturday, May 26 from 3pm to 4:30pm at the Dutch Pavilion, Giardini.

Jawaher Al-Sudairy (’15 MSUP) is co-curator of “Spaces in Between” for Saudi Arabia, with Sumaya Al-Solaiman.

Visiting Adjunct Professor Momoyo Kaijima (Atelier Bow-Wow) is curator of the Japanese Pavilion. Among others, her exhibition Architectural Ethnography includes installations by Adam Frampton, Adjunct Assistant Professor and principal of Only If Architecture, and the collective Who Builds Your Architecture?, a coalition of architects, activists, scholars, and educators including GSAPP faculty and alumni Kadambari Baxi, Jordan Carver, Laura Diamond Dixit (Ph.D. in Architecture candidate), Lindsey Wikstrom (‘16 M.Arch), and Mabel O. Wilson ('91 M.Arch).

La Biennale di Venezia 2018

Kenneth Frampton Receives Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Freespace curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara

Overview of National Pavilions at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture

Dimensions of Citizenship, U.S. Pavilion organized by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.