← Back to homepage

Sowing seeds for 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale – creative team announced

August 23, 2017

An Australian grassland will be brought to life inside the Australian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2018 with the successful proposal announced at events in Sydney and Melbourne.

Presented by the Australian Institute of Architects, repair by Baracco+Wright Architects collaborating with artist Linda Tegg will see thousands of temperate grassland species cultivated and nurtured within the pavilion alongside large-scale architectural projections. Visitors will enter a physical dialogue between architecture and endangered plant community. Reminding us what is at stake when we occupy land.

Jill Garner, Chair of the Institute’s Venice Biennale Committee, congratulated the team on their ‘immersive, multi-sensory exhibition that will engage visitors with the concept of repair, an approach to architectural thinking, set to become a critical strategy of architectural culture’.

Louise Wright from Baracco+Wright added ‘While ideas of repair are internationally relevant, they are particularly applicable to Australian architects, who work cheek-by-jowl in one of the most diverse and ecologically sensitive landscapes in the world.

‘We want to provoke and stimulate this discussion and position Australian architects at the cusp of international architectural consciousness around issues of repair,’ Louise said.

Collaborating with Baracco + Wright, artist Linda Tegg worked with grasslands at the State Library of Victoria in 2014, ‘I wondered what the library had replaced. This question pointed to a blind spot, and prompted me to bring this unique plant community into renewed proximity with our cultural institutions. It’s exciting to collaborate with Baracco+Wright to bring a grassland into focus at the Venice Biennale,’ Linda said.

Explicitly addressing the Biennale Architettura curators Farrell and McNamara’s theme of Freespace, repair responds by encouraging new ways of thinking and seeing the world, ‘of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the wellbeing and dignity of each citizen on this fragile planet’ .

repair will frame and reveal an architectural culture in Australia that is evolving through processes that integrate built and natural systems to effect repair of the environment, and in so doing, repair of other conditions such as social, economic and cultural ones.

Baracco+Wright is a Melbourne-based architectural practice, founded by Louise Wright and Mauro Baracco. Collaborating with artist Linda Tegg and with architect Paul Memmott, landscape architect Chris Sawyer,  landscape architect and urban designer Tim O’Loan and curatorial advisor Catherine Murphy to inform, refine and complement their skills*, the winning concept aims to showcase Australian architecture that engages with the repair of our natural environment.

The Creative Directors will call upon Australian architects, urban designers and landscape architects to submit designs that have been conceived in relationship with their ecosystem to effect repair be it civic, social, cultural, economic or environmental. From these, a selection that displays a range of approaches, scales and geographic locations will be selected for exhibition.

repair will be the seventh exhibition coordinated by the Australian Institute of Architects at the Biennale Architettura. An initiative of the Institute, Australia has had a continued national presence since 2006 at what is widely considered the most important event of the international architectural calendar. In 2018, the Institute is pleased to welcome back Janet Holmes à Court as Commissioner of the Australian Exhibition.

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will run from 26 May to 25 November 2018 in Venice. For more information on Australia’s participation in the 2018 Venice Biennale visit
The exhibition is supported by Austral Bricks, Smeg, Bespoke Careers and Architecture Media. In addition, the Institute gratefully acknowledges the support given by the Australia Council for the Arts.

*The broader team supporting the Creative Directors includes ecologist David Freudenberger, Senior Lecturer in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, architect Lance van Maanen and graduate of architecture Jonathan Ware. Mauro Baracco is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Design of RMIT University Melbourne; Linda Tegg is the Artist in Residence in the School of Geography at The University of Melbourne and a Lecturer in Creative Practice in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University; Professor Paul Memmott is a trans-disciplinary researcher (architect/anthropologist) and the Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) and the Indigenous Design Place Initiative at the University of Queensland where he is affiliated with the School of Architecture and the Institute of Social Science Research; Chris Sawyer is a co-director of Site Office with Susie Kumar and an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University; Tim O’Loan is a director at Aecom; Catherine Murphy is a Senior Research Consultant in the Department of Architecture at Monash University.