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 (

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    The Unheralded

    Kristen Gandy
    May 22, '16 2:45 PM EST

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

    The email congratulating us on being selected to serve as fellows to the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale came immediately following my final Propositions studio presentation and a full night of sleep, so I knew it couldn’t have been a delirious daydream. The only possible way to top a semester end with news like that is to be in Venice at the U.S. pavilion right after thesis and graduation.

    What would it be like if you sent six pairs of shrewd, highly trained eyes to Venice to install a historically celebrated architecture exhibition? I wondered this myself months ago when Taubman College announced the fellows. Add to it the fact that there are twelve different projects to be installed and exhibited. How absolutely thrilling. I couldn’t wait for our team to start whirling through the pavilion with the curators, and I knew we could only guess at the wonderful moments that would come with every day. Though months had gone into planning every detail of the exhibition, I was looking forward to all of the unforeseeable realities that go along with making and installing these unique projects in Venice. So five months later, many bags in tow, we started our journey in Detroit, the city under examination in the pavilion. The following week would be full of hands-on manual labor: uncrating, measuring, drilling, and hanging. This is the stuff that gets exciting, the things no one details out in CAD, the unheralded moments of exhibiting architecture at the Venice Biennale. 

    Photo credits: Salam Rida

    • 1 Comment

    • danielredstone

      Kristen:  How exciting this must be for you and the other "fellows".  It was great seeing you this spring at the Patrons and Scholars event.  Enjoy your unique experience.


      May 25, 16 8:44 am  · 

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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

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