Biennale - Presenting our Current Condition / by Stephen Bontly

I spent the past weekend at Biennale in Venice, Italy. It reminded me about what I loved in Architecture. Problem solving, presentation, and demonstration. What I love is also what I hate. How easy it is to influence and potentially control the masses.

Serbian Pavilion

The Biennale is presented to the world with a purpose. To raise awareness of the current conditions that we as inhabitants face on a global, national and communal scale. This is, for me, the most powerful form of introducing constructive change.  The big question is, how does one portray information? As many believe, architects are the stewards of life, creating, protecting and providing opportunities. Not necessarily dictating, however influencing the decisions that a person might make. This collection of information is considered the best of its kind, only coming together every two years in one location of the world.

Philippine Pavilion

As I moved through each pavilion, I could see, feel, hear the ideas that have been presented at each entry. Guiding the audience through a journey, curating the experience for them, giving them the right type of information. As soon as the viewer connects with the presentation, they want more, they want to understand.



Once they understand, they absorb this idea into their personal knowledge. They then begin to make connection outside of the architects control. That is beauty. Empowering the people to make their own choices. Some ideas are better left open ended. Insinuating an idea but not deciding its value. Letting the people put worth and creativity into the seed you have planted into them. This is efficient, effective and influential. 

Biennale College Exhibit

The production can be simple or complex, but by the end of the presentation, you can believe in it so much. As a designer, we have been taught to sell a product, create a performance and captivate an audience. Whether it is through, graphics, models, video, text, or interactive design, we are responsible for creating smooth transitions between each topic, sometimes intangible until put into perspective. These modes of translation can be further abstracted by scale, space, position and perception. 

VOIDS - Aires Mateus

Abstract or literal, connecting concepts does not have to be black and white. People connect with feelings and give value to the most random things. That is what makes everything so special. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Why should wisdom be any different? For me, finding these connections that people relate to, no matter how bizarre, no matter what order, is what gives meaning to what I do. 

Forensic Architecture


Luyanda Mpahlwa - DesignSpaceAfrica

The choices that architects make will directly influence the choices people make, bending the realities that we believe to be true. How to draw people into your world, hook their attention, connect ideas in their head where they never would have thought.

Ireland Pavilion

A person will only change when they are ready to. Nothing will convince them except themselves. There are many different ways to achieve a common result, not one being better than the other. It was a enlightening experience to see how Biennale accomplished this task. Bravo!

Stay Tuned World.