The Architectural Imagination Exhibition Fellows

The U.S. Department of State selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale (May 28-Nov. 27). Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon are Co-Curators of the U.S. Pavilion, The Architectural Imagination (

  • anchor

    The Unforeseen

    Kristen Gandy
    May 24, '16 2:54 PM EST

    Stories from behind the curtains by Kristen Gandy, M. Arch – Taubman College University of Michigan

    We really had a crate week. Photo credit: Deniz McGee

    The Most Important Room in the Pavilion. Photo credit: Kristen Gandy


    The Unforeseen

    After a night of adjusting to the time change, the first day was off bright and early at the pavilion. Thirty-nine giant art crates awaited us in the pavilion’s four rooms. First things first: unpack the tool crate. To un-crate the tool crate, however, we needed a power drill, and the power drills were in the tool crate. Hence, adventure number one. Luckily for everyone, I took a single semester of Italian four years ago in my undergrad, making me the most-fluent speaker of the team. So I wandered among the pavilions in Giardini to find someone kind enough lend a drill for a moment. So for all you future exhibition installers, here is the method of finding what you lack:

    First, find an Italian construction team. Ask them, in Italian (very poor Italian, with a smile), for the tool you are seeking. They will send you to their boss. Next, you must navigate your way to some other country’s pavilion and ask everyone you see if they know where [boss’s name here] is. Found the boss man? Ok, repeat the ask – this time with a little uncertainty and a bigger smile. If you have done all of this correctly, and if you tell [boss name here] when you intend to return his precious tool, you will walk out of this other country’s pavilion with said tool in hand (be sure to take note of their progress on your way out).

    So there you have it. We opened the first crate, readying the full lineup of tools for the next 38 crates, which needed to be opened, unpacked, and collected in two days, before the art handler storage boat returned down the canal. 

    Brendan Bashin-Sullivan and Kristen Gandy. Photo credit: Salam Rida

    Kristen Gandy and Chris Locke know how to hang an exhibition. Photo credit: Salam Rida

    The Make-Shift Office - Courtside, Stati Uniti Padiglione. Deniz McGee  Photo Credit: Kristen Gandy

    • No Comments

    • Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

Six Taubman College M.Arch students were selected to assist the curators of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale in installing The Architectural Imagination. The students will travel to Venice for one month as Exhibition Fellows. They will serve as docents for the opening days of the exhibition. This blog is about their experience working on the 2016 U.S. Pavilion and in Venice. Students: Kristen Gandy Ramon Hernandez Christopher Locke Rubin Quarcoopome Salam Rida Diana Tsai

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs from the same authors:

Other blogs affiliated with University of Michigan:

Recent Entries