Venice Biennale 2016

Exhibition design and animated projections for Conflicts of an Urban Age

In collaboration with Ricky Burdett and LSE Cities, we developed an exhibition for the 2016 Venice Biennale illustrating the rapid growth of cities between 1990 and 2015.
Set the task of bringing a dizzying array of complex data to life, our aim was to present the facts in a way that clearly communicates the individual challenges that different cities around the world are facing.

Our design concept was influenced by a pharmaceutical aesthetic. It was important that the style appeared ‘impartial’ so we treated the case studies of each city as a kind of ’health check’, loosely presenting them as case notes from a patient. We constructed a floating ribbon that wraps around the space displaying a combination of printed material and animated projections, which provided an insight into the consequences of planning decisions on the social and physical fabric of these cities.

Hanging throughout the centre of the space are a series of elegant LED-lit perspex panels inspired by x-ray slides, each panel was etched with an outline of a city which shows its current size and a cross-hatched area within which shows its relative size in 1990. At either end of the exhibition hall examples of contrasting urban designs show the result of intense urbanisation versus urban change at a local scale. 


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