The U.S. Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, held August 29 to November 25, 2012 (press preview August 27–28), will be devoted to the theme Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.
Organized by the Institute for Urban Design, the exhibition will examine the nascent movement of architects, designers, planners, artists and everyday community members initiating their own projects to bring positive change to the urban realm.
It will feature a range of realized interventions that expand the comfort, functionality, inclusiveness, safety, and sustainability of U.S. cities. Motivated by a renewed sense of social and political engagement, featured projects include: guerrilla bike lanes, community gardens, urban farms, occupations, urban repair squads, pop-up markets, crowdsourced urban planning, chairbombing, sharing networks, temporary architecture, and communication campaigns, plus digital projects that make cities more navigable, accessible, and transparent. Spontaneous Interventions will frame an archive of actionable strategies that bring immediate citizen-led improvements to cities. Taken together, these projects demonstrate an alternative to traditional, top-down approaches to urban revitalization.
Architects, designers, planners and artists who have realized an intervention in a U.S. city are encouraged to submit their projects by February 6 in order to be reviewed during the next curators’ meeting. Additional details about project criteria and submission requirements can be found on the Spontaneous Interventions website: www.spontaneousinterventions.org.
Cathy Lang Ho, the commissioner and curator of the U.S. Pavilion, is a New York-based writer and editor, and a board member of the Institute for Urban Design. Co-curator Ned Cramer is the editor-in-chief of Architect magazine, the official media partner of the U.S. Pavilion, and curatorial strategist David van der Leer is the assistant curator of architecture and design at the Guggenheim Museum. Paola Antonelli is a senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Her writing has been published widely and she has lectured on design and architecture throughout the world, at such prestigious forums as the TED Conference, Davos, and the World Economic Forum.