Spontaneous Interventions U.S. Pavilion at 13th Venice Architecture Biennale

Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good

Organized by the Institute for Urban Design comes the exhibition details and call for projects for the U.S. Pavilion at this years International Venice Architecture Biennale that will take place from August 29th through November 25th.


The exhibition will feature a range of realized interventions that expand the comfort, functionality, inclusiveness, safety, and sustainability of U.S. cities. Motivated by a renewed sense of social and political engagement, featured projects include: guerrilla bike lanes, community gardens, urban farms, occupations, urban repair squads, pop-up markets, crowdsourced urban planning, chairbombing, sharing networks, temporary architecture, and communication campaigns, plus digital projects that make cities more navigable, accessible, and transparent. Spontaneous Interventions will frame an archive of actionable strategies that bring immediate citizen-led improvements to cities. Taken together, these projects demonstrate an alternative to traditional, top-down approaches to urban revitalization.


Spontaneous Interventions

Project Criteria:

  • project was initiated by the architect/artist/planner/landscape architect/hacker/activist/citizen (in other words, no one asked for it), OR was initiated by an alternative client, for example, a non-profit or a community group
  • project is publicly accessible and serves the common good
  • project improves a problematic condition (solves a problem by making a place more accessible, inclusive, sustainable, beautiful, etc.)
  • project is located in an urban context or tackles urban issues in the United States
  • project is participatory in nature, or open access, and serves an underserved or overlooked constituency
  • project is realized, deployed, in action or use (not theoretical)
  • project may be a physical intervention in an urban context, or an information, communication or digital project that improves people’s comprehension, navigation and access to a city.

Common Ground is the overall theme chosen by David Chipperfield for the Biennale “…..The title ‘Common Ground’ also has a strong connotation of the ground between buildings, the spaces of the city. I want projects in the Biennale to look seriously at the meanings of the spaces made by buildings: the political, social, and public realms of which architecture is a part. I do not want to lose the subject of architecture in a morass of sociological, psychological or artistic speculation, but to try to develop the understanding of the distinct contribution that architecture can make in defining the common ground of the city.

This theme is a deliberate act of resistance towards the image of architecture propagated in much of today’s media of projects springing fully formed from the minds of individual talents. I wish to promote the fact that architecture is internally connected, intellectually and practically, sharing common concerns, influences and intentions.

Click here for additional details about project criteria and submission requirements (needed by February 6th).

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