venice architecture biennale 2010 preview: map office
venice architecture biennale 2010 preview: map office venice architecture biennale 2010 preview: map office
aug 23, 2010

venice architecture biennale 2010 preview: map office

‘underwear: les dessous de la biennale’ by map office for the 12th international architecture biennale in venice, italy
all images courtesy of map office

‘underwear: les dessous de la biennale’ by hong kong-based architectural office map office
is a part of ‘quotidian architectures‘, hong kong’s official exhibition at this year’s
international architecture biennale in venice, italy. the national pavilion explores the potential
of design to create socially and environmentally responsible architecture by presenting
collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects from hong kong in six different categories:
clothing, food, dwelling, transport, education, and leisure. map office’s contribution
utilizes the most basic piece of clothing, the underwear, as a medium to explore a number
of environment and social elements found in south china.

drawing on the research the firm has previously conducted on the urban entertainment life
found below the highway infrastructure in the pearl river delta region, the decision to concentrate
on an elemental piece of clothing that lies underneath other external layers was an intentional one.
it also offers a playful and voyeuristic perspective on the project.

map office worked in collaboration with local fabrics manufacturer ‘sun hing industries holding ltd’
to design and create patterned underwear that mimic the rippling motion of a water’s surface.
made from environmentally-sensitive, recycled fabric, the project aims to raise awareness
and call attention to the universal importance of water in our eco-system. the underwear will
be distributed for free to visitors of the pavilion, ensuring the project’s existence beyond the
geographical and time frame limits of the biennale.

an illustration of laurent gutierrez modeling the underwear

an illustration of valerie portefaix modeling the underwear

packaged underwear

pattern of the fabric

the pattern mimics the twisting motion of a water’s surface

fabric during manufacturing

  • amazing design underwear. I like it, so cool.

    hhjka says:
  • Hideous – bad taste, colours, print everything! Nice packaging though!

    Lisalatte says:
  • good idea not so great pattern, tell them to get me to design it haha ( :

    kat says:
  • WANT

    renee says:
  • and now they are worry by ‘call attention to the universal importance of water in our eco-system’

    hkbis says:
  • So Balthus! Love the wear and and what is under!

    Katie says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,671 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample