SCI-Arc Faculty Explore Architecture and Change at the Venice Biennale

SCI-Arc Undergraduate Program Chair Tom Wiscombe and Undergraduate Thesis Coordinator Marcelyn Gow participated in the symposium Architecture and Change, Conversations at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. The symposium, a United States Pavilion event in cooperation with the Nordic Pavilion, took place October 1 in the Nordic Pavilion at the Biennale in Venice, Italy. The event explored the question of how architecture can foster social and political change, examining whether architecture can become a catalyst for real change in today’s cities. Co-curators of The Architectural Imagination Cynthia Davidson and Mónica Ponce de León hosted and moderated Architecture and Change.

Three panels of architects, historians, and critics discussed architecture’s potential to provoke and/or react to change. The first panel, moderated by Ponce de León, included Beatriz Colomina, Milton S.F. Curry, Robert Fishman, and Jesse Reiser, who discussed architecture as a catalyst for social and economic change in Detroit and other declining postindustrial cities. The second panel, featuring Farshid Moussavi, Antoine Picon, and SCI-Arc’s Gow and Wiscombe, explored social, political, economic, and technological influences on architecture. At the conclusion of the event, the panelists were joined by Davidson, Ponce de León, Gillian Crampton Smith, and ArchDaily European Editor James Taylor-Foster, to engage the audience in a conversation about the various aspects of architecture and change that were raised on the panels.

The theme of the symposium expands on The Architectural Imagination, the exhibition in the US Pavilion presenting 12 architectural ideas for Detroit. Featured architects in the exhibition are SCI-Arc faculty Jackilin Hah Bloom, Andrew Zago, Kristy Balliet, and Graduate Thesis Coordinator Florencia Pita. The exhibition is on view through November 27.