Marking the start of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (29th August to 25th November 2012), Biennale director David Chipperfield launched this year’s critical reader under the theme of ‘Common Ground’. At the book launch, which was chaired by Professor Ricky Burdett, Chipperfield explained that he chose this theme “to encourage my colleagues to react against the prevalent professional and cultural tendencies of our time that place such emphasis on individual and isolated actions. I encouraged them instead to demonstrate the importance of influence and of the continuity of cultural endeavour, to illustrate common and shared ideas that form the basis of an architectural culture“.
At another Biennale event, the restrospective exhibition ‘Unconscious Places’ was launched featuring a collection of German photographer Thomas Struth’s photographs of street scenes across the world, taken between 1977 and 2012. The exhibition was opened with a conversation between Struth and Richard Sennett, who also wrote the book to accompany the exhibition and was chaired by leading curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, of the Serpentine Gallery.