School of Architecture

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Masters Students Genevieve Quinn, Georgia Sewell and Jeremy Wooldridge discuss the model exhibit by Diller Scofidio + Renfro at Arsenale, Venice. Photograph by: Nicola White

Last month, thirteen students from the School of Architecture had the opportunity to travel to the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy for a week-long research elective field trip around the theme of Architectural Ethnography. 

Working closely with students from ETH Zurich (ETHZ) and The University of Tsukuba, they engaged in an intense group drawing workshop held at the Japan Pavilion in the Giardini.

The workshop was conceived by two of the Japanese pavilion’s curators; UQ’s Adjunct Professor Momoyo Kaijima from internationally renowned architecture practice Atelier Bow-Wow, and Chair of the Theory of Architecture at ETHZ Professor Laurent Stalder, in collaboration with Dr Andreas Kalpakci, Dr Tomatsu Ito from ETHZ and Kazuyoshi Watari from the University of Tsukuba. 

UQ's Senior Lecturer Andrew Wilson, led the research elective that required students to investigate their own research interests in relation to the history of the city of Venice, and the Architecture Biennale, drawing on material dealt with during the workshop.

Teams of students from the three universities were assigned one of twelve historical Vedute (a highly detailed painting of a city-scape depicting scenes in public spaces) to then develop an axonometric of that scene, considering how it is used today. The teaching staff guided the teams, as they translated historical moments fused with contemporary circumstance. Sites generated by the Vedute included the Campo San Rocco, Campo San Lio, Piazza San Marco, and a view of the Rialto Bridge, among others.  

The teaching staff guided the teams, as they attempted to represent the same emotions and ideals in a new format. Some scenes included the Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco to name a few.

“The group drawing was a new and challenging experience, where I learnt to merge ideas of research methodology with drawing techniques to express and convey an ever-changing occupation of space,” said Masters of Architecture student Nicola White.

Students had the opportunity to visit a number of museums and galleries, including the Museo Correr, Museo Querini Stampalia, and Gallerie dell'Accademia supported by presentations tours by local and international specialists. 

Students worked together at the Japan Pavilion, and visited their nominated sites during the week, and were also able to explore the Venice Architecture Biennale. The resulting drawings will be exhibited at the ETHZ in Switzerland in November and it is hoped that the exhibition will travel to Brisbane early next year.

Article written by Jeremy Wooldridge
UQ Masters of Architecture

NB: In order to assist students to access this opportunity, they were provided with financial support from the Student Strategy Short Term Global Mobility Initiative as well as funding received through the Australian Government Endeavour Mobility Grant scheme.