‘we wrote this freespace manifesto like a litany of values which we aspire to in the making of our work, and the admiration of other people’s work,’ says shelley mcnamara who, together with yvonne farrell, has curated the 2018 venice architecture biennale. in their direction of the event, the duo, who founded grafton architects in 1978, invited architects to think about architecture as a space of opportunity. ‘we wanted to have something that wasn’t dealing with architecture as object, we wanted to deal with space as the craft of architecture: the free becomes the component that each architect searches for within each project,’ farrell adds.

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
recasting by alison brooks architects | read more about the project on designboom here
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia | video © PLANE—SITE

 

 

‘we also wanted to something very practical,’ continues yvonne farrell. ‘architecture is not just something off in the distance, it is the cradle of our lives.’ at this year’s biennale, which runs until november 25, 2018, PLANE—SITE spoke with farrell and mcnamara who discussed their vision for this edition’s theme, freespace. ‘there is freespace of thinking, and there is freespace of imagination,’ continues mcnamara. ‘it’s our position that those values are central to the making of architecture.’ watch the video interview in full at the top of this page, and see some highlights from the arsenale corderie below.

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
guruguru by SANAA | read more about the project on designboom here
image © designboom

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
DnA_design and architecture is led by xu tiantian | read more about the project on designboom here
image by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
liquid light by flores & prats | read more about the project on designboom here
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
weaving architecture by benedetta tagliabue – miralles tagliabue EMBT
image by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
diller scofidio + renfro presents the roy and diana vagelos education center
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
arcus center for social justice leadership by studio gang
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
elevation by andramatin
image by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

shelley mcnamara yvonne farrell grafton interview
evasão by álvaro siza vieira
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

 

 

venice architecture biennale golden lion

designboom’s coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale is in partnership with leading energy company edison. edison is taking part in the 16th international architecture exhibition of la biennale di venezia by initiating a path towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources. the collaboration between edison and la biennale is based on awareness that energy is one of the fundamental elements of architecture and of the places, spaces and cities of contemporary life.

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