1985 Venice Architecture Biennale

In 1985, the Venice Biennale sponsored ten competitions on architectural themes. I thought that forming a joint group of architects and artists could be a winning formula.
I therefore involved six internationally renowned Italian sculptors – Gianni Colombo, Luciano Palmieri, Giancarlo Sangregorio, Francesco Somaini, Mauro Staccioli – to participate in six of the competitions.

The idea was to renew the tradition of architects and sculptors working closely together right from the initial concept, so that architecture and sculpture would integrate in a single work of art, as opposed to having, as is usual today, some alien structure dropped in front of the completed building.
It is a tradition that boasts countless glorious examples from the Renaissance to the 1930s, but which practically disappeared during the second half of the last century.
The sculptors responded enthusiastically. The experience of seeing the projects grow from the collaboration of many very different minds and being developed in many different locations (models were made in each of the artists’ studios) was exhilarating.

This collaboration also had (or so I thought) a very practical reason. I was convinced that, while unknown young architects didn’t stand a chance of being selected, the jury would pay special attention to names they recognized and, therefore, the sculptors would capture the jurors’ eye.
Ironically the only project selected by the Biennale was the only one in which we involved no artists.
It was entirely developed using computer aided design, which was an incredible novelty at that time…