From bio-grounds on the Certosa Island to the most contemporary urban challenges, here are the exhibitions that talk about architecture during the 2023 Venice Biennale

Like any great artistic and cultural event, the Venice Biennale 2023 also brings with it a constellation of exhibitions, installations and meetings, obviously on the theme of Architecture, scattered among historic buildings, museum and exhibition spaces that open to the city for the occasion.

Who is preparing to visit the 18th International Architecture Exhibition 2023 of the Venice Biennale curated by the architect, professor of architecture and writer Lesley Lokko – from 20 May to 26 November 2023 between the Giardini della Biennale, the exhibition spaces of the Arsenale - it will be possible to go beyond the institutional places to discover some other exhibitions linked to the themes of the Biennale itself.

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: information, calendar and updates

Here are some of the collateral events suggested by Internimagazine:

Kengo Kuma - onomatopoeia architecture, ACP Palazzo Franchetti, S. Marco, 2847, 30124 Venice

May 14 – November 26, 2023

Curated by Chizuko Kawarada (partner of the Kengo Kuma&Associates studio), and Roberta Perazzini Calarota (president of Acp art capital partners), it showcases for the first time the he onomatopoeic architecture of Kengo Kuma, or rather the ability of the Japanese master to tell his projects to collaborators and clients through onomatopoeic words, in a simple, almost childish way, free from theoretical superstructures.

Read also Biennale 2023: the exhibition on onomatopoeic architecture by Kengo Kuma, explained

Why visit: an original exhibition because, explains Marco Imperadori, a friend of the Japanese master and author of the catalogue, "Kengo Kuma for the first time tells his singular method of expressing his ideas through sounds, associating architectural concepts with onomatopoeic words”.

Time – Space – Existence, European Cultural Center in Venice, Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, 3659, 30121 Venice

20 May – 26 November 2023

The sixth edition of Time – Space – Existence, the biennial architecture review promoted by the European Cultural Center in Venice this year focuses attention on the declinations of sustainability, from the environment to the urban landscape, with insights on innovation, reuse and community.

In response to climate change, the projects explore new technologies and energy-saving construction methods, circular design, organic and recycled construction materials.

Studio V participates with the project On Edge which explores the critical issues of contemporary cities, such as the redevelopment of abandoned or polluted spaces, urban evolution, the mitigation of the effects of changes climate on the coasts.

The project examines five border areas of New York: Coney Island, Spanish Harlem, Gowanus Canal, Jamaica, Queens and Silo City, Buffalo. For new perspectives on the future of urban planning.

Why visit: it stimulates dialogue between architect and spectator to examine the crucial role that we all play in shaping the future of the environments in which we live.

Info: /2023archbiennial;

Bio Grounds, Certosa Island

20 May - 20 June 2023

BioGrounds is a program of three naturalistic installations and educational gardens, curated by Domitilla Dardi.

The result of the dialogue between artists, architects, designers, philosophers and botanists, it intends to strengthen the vocation of this special territory as a participatory and aware public park.

One of the largest islands in the Venice lagoon, the Certosa is located less than 200 meters from the San Pietro di Castello district and two kilometers from Piazza San Marco.

As part of this program, Alcantara and the Maxxi Museum give life to the Seed Bed installation by Studio Ossidiana.

The project takes its cue from the act of cultivating understood as the first action that man performs on nature by modifying it to his advantage, but also as the beginning of an artificial process which, based on design, has as its object the natural element. The ruins of the central cloister of the Certosa, which bear witness to the strong presence of monasteries on the island, present in particular an ancient hortus conclusus, a special protected space, the heart of the life of the monks who dedicated themselves here to the cultivation of vegetables, source of nourishment.

As in an ancient seedbed, the cultivable land is found within an ephemeral architecture - made in Alcantara - with a primordial function of protection.

In accordance with the BioGrounds theme, at the end of the exhibition cycle, the Alcantara material used for the Seed-bed will be regenerated, through a technology that allows the recovery of raw materials of origin.

Why visit it: an open-air exhibition in a particular environmental context of the northern lagoon, which has been the seat of an Augustinian and Carthusian monastery since the 12th century.

Catalonia in Venice_Following the Fish, Docks Cantieri Cucchini, San Pietro di Castello 40 A, 30122 Venice

20 May – 30 September 11am – 7pm; 1 October 26 November 10am-6pm. Closed on Mondays

A project which, curated by Leve Productora (Daniel Cid, Eva Serrats and Francesc Pla), organized and produced by the Institut Ramon Llul, addresses urban planning, workspaces and housing seen by the African diaspora in Catalonia .

The expression Following the Fish evokes the story behind the exhibition project: the fish becomes the narrator of the life of the manter collective and symbolizes the depopulation that is suffocating the African economy, but also the process of struggle and emancipation initiated by this phenomenon.

The space of the ex Cantieri Cucchini takes on the shape of an itinerant market in continuous transformation: on a series of sheets that symbolize the mantes of the itinerant vendors, open and suspended a few centimeters from the ground, the contents of the journey made by migrants.

Why visit it: it is an interesting joint work to get out of "one's own spaces" and question the transforming capacities of architectural practices

Info: @cataloniainvenice;

Venezia Fabrica Futura, Complex of the Ospedaletto di Venezia, Barbaria de le Tole, 6691, 30122 Venice

19 May – 17 June 2023. Thursday-Monday 10am-6pm

Fabrica arrives at the Complesso dell'Ospedaletto di Venezia to explore - through some multimedia projects created by the centre's young creatives - alternative futures already present in the lagoon and proposes a reflection on local ecologies of co-existence in a era marked by global political, economic and environmental crises.

Venezia Fabrica Futura is a research laboratory on the lagoon city and its complex ecosystem. Among the works on display, interactive video games; bio-fabrication with lagoon mussels; gustatory explorations; experimental herbariums dedicated to underwater flora and sound reworkings of wave motion and pollution data from Venetian canals.

Over the next few months, the space will also host presentations, lagoon tastings, concerts, screenings and performances with international guests.

Why visit: the vision of the Fabrica communication research center is projected into the future


Massimo Micheluzzi at the Olivetti Store, Olivetti Store, Piazza San Marco 101 – Venice

20 May - 24 September 2023 from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00 to 18.30

The FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano opens to the public, at the same time as the XVIII Architecture Biennale, the exhibition Massimo Micheluzzi at the Olivetti Shop, in the premises of the historic showroom in Piazza San Marco in Venice - owned by Assicurazioni Generali and entrusted since 2011 to the care and management of the FAI. The exhibition will end on 24 September, in conjunction with the Italian Glass Week.

The exhibition, curated by Cristina Beltrami, presents a collection of vases made in opus sectile and blown glass mosaic, which Massimo Micheluzzi has created, starting from 2022, in an ideal dialogue with the architecture of the Olivetti shop designed by Carlo Scarpa.

Comparison that, for Micheluzzi, plays on the essence of Scarpa's language and on the deep bond of both with Venice.

Why visit: the fifty vases were created specifically for this exhibition and are more than a tribute, a "sharing gesture" of the common roots with Carlo Scarpa. And then it's an opportunity to see - and review - the spaces of this historic shop built between 1957 and 1958

Info: - olives

IN'EI Gallery, Palazzo Ravà, San Polo, Riva del vin, 1100, Venice

Bearable Lightness of Being: Hanji Tables, May 17 - June 24, 2023

The Floating Realm, June 30 – August 20, 2023

Grafting, August 30 – September 30, 2023

During the Architecture Biennale, the IN'EI gallery presents three exhibitions declining architecture in various disciplines, experiences and knowledge.

Bearable Lightness of Being: Hanji Tables by Korean architect Jin Hee Park (Japan Pavilion at the 2016 Architecture Biennale), curated by Jin Baek explores the possibilities of table design, through which the culture linked to the world of Korean tradition is also known.

The Floating Realm by the h220430 studio, curated by the Japanese architect Satoshi Itasaka wants to bring back to life the ancestral feelings of joy, playfulness and those dreams that each of us has lived in the own 'floating kingdom' as a child.

Grafting - an exhibition curated by Hiroki Yamamoto - is an opportunity to get to know the style of the artistic movement of Mono-ha revisited and very personal by Fumihiko Sano, Japanese architect-carpenter and artist with an overview of his work that combines architecture, craftsmanship and art.

Why visit them: it is a journey through different ways of arriving at the design product


Vedova Revolution, M9-Museo del '900, Via Giovanni Pascoli 11, Venice Mestre

5 May to 26 November 2023

Conceived and designed by the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova and co-produced with M9-Museo del '900, the exhibition Rivoluzione Vedova curated by Gabriella Belli displays some fundamental works by the Venetian painter characterized by a strong link with the events of his time, such as Diario partisan, Diario di Corea, Prague 1968, Who burns a book burns a man.

The set-up by Alvisi Kirimoto starts from the special shape of the room: an asymmetrical space of over 1200 square meters with extraordinary light, which descends from the Museum's shed roof.

“Like a large splinter, the central structure defines the three scenarios linked to the cycles of works on display, among the fundamental masterpieces of the artist, while the works on the wall, associated with particular historical moments of the 1900s, are intended as seals, accents, which narrate the war conflicts in which Vedova participates vigorously”, explains Massimo Alvisi, co-founder of the studio.

In addition to the exhibition hall, it is possible to discover Vedova's world through a multimedia black box and a program of educational workshops.

Why visit it:  “He IS an artist who still today asks questions, alongside the best of our time”, says the curator


Lunar, Fondamenta della Tana, Calle del Forno 2093, 30100 Venice

20 May – 30 June 2023 Thu / Fri / Sat / Sun / 10.00 - 20.00

The site-specific installation of Parasite 2.0 (one of the 9 studios that participated in the activations of Spaziale Presents, the preparatory phase for the creation of Spaziale: Everyone belongs to all the others, the project by the collective Fosbury Architecture for the Italian Pavilion) created for Crash Baggage is proposed as a new space for discovery and sharing in the city of Venice , crowded with tourists and noisy suitcases.

The installation occupies a ground floor among the small streets that lead from the canals into the heart of the Arsenale district, where sound travels on different waves, propagating between the old brick walls.

Parasite 2.0 set up a filter space between the Venetian canals crowded with tourists, small boats, noisy trolleys and the muffled silence of the world of the Lunar wheel.

Why visit it: "The installation creates a strong contrast between the Venetian interior with its rough bricks and plaster and a series of soft, shiny and pneumatic objects..." explain Parasite 2.0


Building a Creative Nation, ACP Palazzo Franchetti, S. Marco, 2847, 30124 Venice

May 14 – November 26, 2023

In addition to the Portuguese Pavilion and Kengo Kuma - onomatopoeia architecture, Palazzo Franchetti hosts Building a Creative Nation, curated by 2 x 4 for Qatar Create.
On display five projects developed by Qatar Museums in Qatar with important international design studios:
  • Art Mill Museum, architect: ELEMENTAL led by Alejandro Aravena
  • Lusail Museum, architect: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Qatar Auto Museum, architect: Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), led by Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal
  • Qatar Preparatory School, architectural concept: Philippe Starck
  • Dadu, Children's Museum of Qatar, architect: UNStudio
Renderings, images, sketches, studies, models and videos present each of the projects within the Qatar cultural development program.
Why visit: it is an opportunity to see projects by major international architecture studios in the same place

Materica Between design and know-how, Venice, Fabrica 33, Cannaregio

May 19 - June 18

Form and Matter as the leitmotif of the exhibition curated by Paola Bellin and Luciano Setten, proposed by [ e]DesignFestival as an autonomous collateral project of the Venice Design Biennal 2023.

An articulated path between objects that communicate the re-invention of traditional materials - glass, plastic, fabric, wood, steel, ceramic, marble - conceived and proposed in expressive forms resulting from contaminations and synergies.

With the participation of: Jaime Hayon, Elena Salmistraro and Nika Zupanc for BOSA / Antonio De Marco, Odoardo Fioravanti, Diego Grandi, Giulio Iacchetti, JoeVelluto, Chiara Moreschi, Luca Nichetto, Lorenzo Palmeri, Matteo Ragni and Elena Salmistraro for W-EYE / Franco Driusso for SKEMA / Marco Biegert and Andreas Funk for QLOCKTWO / Luciano Setten for TAO_H / Achille Castiglioni for TWILS / Janine Von Thüngen / Cristina Moggio

The exhibition will be accompanied by weekly meetings with designers, scholars, journalists and industry professionals, open to the public.

Why visit: it is an overview of innovative products designed by important names in design

Info and events calendar: