Posts by uchill:

Getting to work: Digging into common ground

Who’s working in the service of whose vision? Unexpectedly (for me), this was the question that seemed to predominate the “Common Ground” theme of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. From the main exhibitions the national pavilions, the contributing exhibitors espoused varying understandings of who or what constitutes the commons implied by the title. Curator David Chipperfield’s explanation of the main exhibition theme in the August 27 printed edition of Architect’s Newspaper acknowledged the theme’s generality as intentional:

I don’t think an exhibition about architecture is agile enough to make precise statements. Clearly the whole theme of Common Ground was a provocation to the profession to think harder about what we share intellectually and physically in terms of our inspirations, our concerns, and predicaments. (5)

It’s not clear to me how many of the contributors took up the provocation to think about collective disciplinary concerns per se. In my opinion the most interesting responses to the Biennale theme localized their focus geographically or otherwise. Continue reading »