FOSCARI, Giulia

Elements of Venice

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Tuesday 18 November 2014
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 65 mins

Giulia Foscari, AA DRL 2007


From the AA, via Hong Kong and Buenos Aires, back to Europe.


Following a brief excursus on projects developed between 2007 and 2013 in Hong Kong and in Latin America, the talk will focus on “Elements of Venice”. Conceived as a mean to test and apply Rem Koolhaas’ dissection strategy into fundamental architectural elements (set forth in "Elements of Architecture”), the research isolates Venetian façades, walls, stairs, ceilings, etc with the joint ambition of presenting each as the product of political and cultural shifts that occurred since Venice’s foundation to date, and of demystifying the notion that the city has remained unchanged throughout its history.


Since her graduation cum laude in Italy and the completion of the AA DRL MArch (in 2007), Giulia Foscari worked as architect, curator and assistant professor, based in Hong Kong and Buenos Aires. In Asia, she taught at Hong Kong University, and, after a year at Foster and Partners, she was the first person on the ground for the OMA Hong Kong office. In parallel, Giulia curated two Collateral Events at the Venice Biennale (in 2008, “Palladio and Contemporary Architects: Zaha Hadid and Patrick Schumacher”, and the “Hong Kong Pavilion”, in 2010, with Juan Du). In South America, Giulia was responsible for a small OMA platform which focused on research and design projects in the region. Since 2013, Giulia shifted her focus back to her hometown, Venice, by being part of AMO Biennale team and by publishing “Elements of Venice”, a book which was developed as a parallel research to Rem Koolhaas’ “Elements of Architecture”.


Giulia Foscari's book 'Elements of Venice' available for sale after the lecture:


Details of the book:


 The metamorphic nature of Venice, a city in which most buildings underwent throughout the centuries substantial volumetric and formal transformations informed by political and cultural shifts, is revealed in Elements of Venice through the analysis of single architectural elements. Developed as a parallel research project of Fundamentals--the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas--the book offers insights on Venetian facades, stairs, corridors, floors, ramps, ceilings, doors, hearths, windows, balconies and walls. "Product not [only] of the mind but of societal organization" the elements are isolated from their picture-perfect context and from the postcard view of Venice that is impressed in our retinas, introducing the reader--through a combination of collages, drawings, photographs, paintings, film stills and quotes--to a radically new way of seeing Venice. Like a camera obscura photograph cuts through the often irrelevant embellishments of architecture to reveal the underlying skeleton of a building (i.e. its elements), this guide will allow the reader to better understand the fundamental transformations that have shaped Venice during the past ten centuries. This city, which for many is--architecturally speaking--permanently frozen in time, has in fact often been at the forefront of challenging the architectural conventions, both during the days of the Republic (until 1797), in which gothic and renaissance styles were seen as carriers of political and ideological meanings, and in the past two centuries when, despite the introduction of the dooming motto "Com'era, dov'era" ("As it was, where it was"), Venice underwent an unprecedented urban transformation.


Baden 2014, 16.7x12 cm, fully illustrated, 560pp. Paperback



All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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