A portrait of Fosbury Architecture, the collective curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale, and an excursus on the theme and the activities that will animate it (starting from February)

Spatial: everyone belongs to everyone else. This is the theme chosen by the collective Fosbury Architecture (with an Anglo-Saxon but very Italian name) for the Pavilion Italy at the Architecture Biennale 2023.

But who are Fosbury Architecture? And what does Spatial mean?

Fosbury Architecture: the curators of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale

Made up of five architects animated by as many personal interests and aspirations, Fosbury Architecture makes proceeding in reverse its way of working. With a more attentive approach to processes than to form

Born between 1987 and 1989, Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino and Claudia Mainardi, founded the Fosbury Architecture "design and research collective" in Milan - still students - in 2013.

The name they have chosen is already the program of their modus operandi: inspired by the high jump champion Dick Fosbury with his new way (today we would define it disruptive) of overcoming the back bar, question the traditional methods of design.

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

From short films to restoration, from fanzines to curating books and installations, they are more interested in processes than form, they tend to value contents and experiences rather than products and entertainment.

For Fosbury Architecture, Architecture is a 'research practice' that goes beyond the construction of artifacts, just as Design is always the result of work collective and collaborative, which goes beyond the idea of the architect-author (and archistar). In their vision, space is both a physical and symbolic place, a geographical area and an abstract dimension, a system of known references and a territory of possibilities.

Their way of 'overcoming the obstacle from behind' is questioning the habits and automatisms of the discipline by tackling projects starting from the mix of experiences that distinguishes them. At the Fosburys, the definition of architects is narrow: they are designers, curators, researchers, project incubators, problem solvers.

Space: what the Italian Pavilion is about at the 2023 Architecture Biennale

The Italian Pavilion promotes, in the words of the curators, "pioneering actions relating to a time horizon that goes beyond the duration of the 2023 Architecture Biennale".

The project of the Italian Pavilion expands its temporal permanence to be divided into two moments (and in different spaces), the first preparatory to the second.

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: who is the curator Lesley Lokko

First phase. “Spaziale presents”, from January to April 2023

In the four months leading up to the opening of the 2023 Architecture Biennale, 9 site-specific interventions will be activated in as many selected locations throughout Italy.

The intention is to offer, explains Onofrio Cutaia, general director of Contemporary Creativity of the MiC and commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, "a cross-section of the architectural culture of the generations young and experimental, who aim to enhance the interdisciplinary component and to review the figure of the architect as one who knows how to relate in an innovative and original way with communities and territories".

A process, "as complex as it is lyrical" in which the curators take on the role of mediators "between different constellations of local and non-local agents, actors in a collective project".

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: The Laboratory of the Future

Second phase: the formal synthesis. “Spatial: Everyone belongs to everyone else”

The result of the processes triggered in the 9 territories in the previous months will be exhibited in the Italian Pavilion from 20 May to 26 November 2023. A different and original image of Italian architecture in the international context is to be expected.

During the month of January 2023, the website https://spaziale2023.it/and the Instagram account @spaziale.presenta, will talk about <em's work in progress >Spaziale presents and the activation of the 9 interventions.

  • 1/9: Post Disaster Rooftops EP04 è il titolo della prima delle nove attivazioni site-specific di Spaziale presenta. 

La prima delle nove attivazioni del Padiglione Italia curato da Fosbury Architecture avverrà nella città di Taranto, in Puglia, e coinvolgerà come progettisti il collettivo Post Disaster (fondato da Gabriele Leo, Gabriella Mastrangelo, Grazia Mappa, Peppe Frisino) e come advisor le performer, attiviste e ricercatrici Silvia Calderoni e Ilenia Caleo.

Chi è Post Disaster (ovvero la metafora del disastro per comprendere le tensioni globali)

Post Disaster è un collettivo interdisciplinare la cui pratica interseca azioni spaziali, performative ed editoriali. La loro ricerca utilizza la metafora del disastro inteso come una lente territoriale per la comprensione di dinamiche e tensioni globali. Il collettivo è affiancato da Silvia Calderoni - performer, attrice e autrice nella scena contemporanea e di ricerca italiana – e Ilenia Caleo, filosofa di formazione, performer, drammaturga, attivista e ricercatrice.

Post Disaster Rooftops EP04, quarto episodio del progetto Post Disaster Rooftops, interpreta i tetti come spazi urbani non convenzionali.

Dai tetti della Città Vecchia di Taranto è possibile compiere una ricognizione immediata degli effetti della crisi (ambientale, economica, sociale…) e, allo stesso tempo, immaginare futuri alternativi.

“L’Italia è una costellazione di territori fragili – sottolineano i curatori, Fosbury Architecture. – Per alcuni la catastrofe è un evento tristemente ciclico, per altri un futuro ineluttabile, per altri ancora parrebbe essersi già manifestata. Convivere con il disastro è un tema a cui architetti e progettisti non possono più sottrarsi, per immaginare progetti che tentino di confrontarcisi concretamente.”

  • 2/9: La terra delle Sirene is the title of the second of the nine site-specific activations of Spaziale presents

The second of the nine activations of the Italian Pavilion curated by Fosbury Architecture will take place in the Bay of Ieranto (Massa Lubrense, Naples), and will involve the designers BB – Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio. Advisor: Terraforma, incubator: FAI – Italian Environment Fund

The Bay of Ieranto is the inlet at the end of the Sorrento peninsula facing the faraglioni of Capri, since 1987 heritage of the FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano. It was here that, according to Pliny the Elder, Ulysses would

met the sirens, remaining enchanted by their song during his return journey to Ithaca told by Homer in the Odyssey.

The bay was chosen by the design atelier BB, founded in 2021 by Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio, and the team of Terraforma, an international music festival dedicated to artistic experimentation and sustainability, to work around the environmental state of the seabed and at the same time generate new forms of 'ritual aggregation'.

“Faced with the decline of anthropocentrism and in preparation for the challenge for the survival of the human species – explain the curators, Fosbury Architecture – the need emerges to reconfirm the spatial contract between man and nature, in the perspective of future climate change.”

A project between mythology and technology which, through a performance, explores new forms of ritual aggregation and the relationship with the surrounding environment.

  • 3/9: Sot Glas is the title of the third of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This third activation will take place in the city of Trieste, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and will involve the artist, designer and researcher Giuditta Vendrame as planner and the director Ana Shametaj as advisor. The incubator of the project will be the Trieste Film Festival.

What is Sot Glas

[sot from the Friulian 'under', and glas from the Slovenian 'voice'] is an installation that reactivates the five hundred meters of underground tunnels of the Kleine Berlin air-raid shelter built during the Second World War. Iconic and dark defensive place, Kleine Berlin marks a painful border that investigates the sense of belonging, redefining the beginning and the end of a country and its community.

“Never before have walls been built to protect physical borders and never before have borders dissolved into digital. – summarize the curators, Fosbury Architecture – Investigating the sense of belonging means redefining what form has the limit and consequently where a country and its community begins and ends”.

4/9: Uccellaccio is the title of the fourth of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This fourth activation will take place in Ripa Teatina, in the province of Chieti in Abruzzo, and will involve the architecture collective HPO (Alessandro Argentesi, Luca Cei, Mara Femia, Filippo Ferraro, Gregorio Giannini, Gabriele Giau, Giulio Marchetti, Oreste Montinaro, Dario Rizzi, Riccardo Simioni, Giorgio Scanelli). Advisor: the writer Claudia Durastanti. Project incubators: MAXXI L'Aquila and the Municipality of Ripa Teatina.

What does the project propose?

In 1973 in Ripa Teatina, a town in the Abruzzo hinterland that has 4000 inhabitants, the first stone of a work that is still unfinished today was laid. After fifty years and various attempts to complete it alternating with demolition hypotheses, that building left to itself remains, for its community, a presence as obvious as it is invasive.

From a perspective of reconciliation and unveiling, the project offers itself as an opportunity to imagine a new participatory reactivation process, capable of taming the 'eco-monster' that has marked the life of that territory so much.

“In architecture there is no positive counterpart to building. Demolition is not a process in itself, but only the inevitable conclusion of a parable - declare the curators, Fosbury Architecture - We believe that in deconstruction and selective disassembly we can cultivate a future, also economic, of sustainable regeneration "

Who is HPO?

HPO is a community of architects based in Ferrara. Through various scales of intervention and a collaborative and experimental attitude, it aims to demonstrate the non-obvious results of the architectural profession.

5/9: Concrete Jungle is the title of the fifth of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This fifth activation will take place on the Venetian mainland, the hinterland bathed by the same waters of the lagoon, which has always been linked to the ancient city. The project is by the Parasite 2.0 design and research studio (Eugenio Cosentino, Luca Marullo, Stefano Colombo). Advisor: the collective of artists and designers Brain Dead in the person of Elia Fornari. Project incubator: the M9 Museum.

What is Concrete Jungle?

Concrete Jungle is a term borrowed from metropolitan subcultures that describes the urban environment as a symbol of the ambiguous relationship between the artificial and the natural in the man-nature relationship. In the wild metropolitan space, the human being, once again an animal, faces a daily struggle for survival. At the same time, the urban condition pushes him to flee in the hope of rediscovering an ancestral and uncontaminated dimension of the landscape.

Climbing is one of the activities that best restores this double tension: in the challenge between the human body and the wall to be climbed, the human being is measured against the hostile environment.

“As with all human dynamics, even free time is organized according to social, cultural and ethnic groups.– reiterate the curators, Fosbury Architecture. – We believe that design can be a powerful tool to unhinge the latent discriminations of activities that often prove to be more divisive than recreational”.

Who is Parasite 2.0?

Parasite 2.0, founded by Eugenio Cosentino, Luca Marullo and Stefano Colombo, has been operating since 2010 in the form of temporary architecture, interior and exhibition design. His interest is aimed at investigating the state of the human habitat through a hybrid between architecture, design and scenography.

Who is Elia Fornari (Brain Dead)?

Brain Dead is a creative collective of artists and designers from around the world. With its disruptive and graphic approach, the brand takes its cues from post punk, underground comics and the spirit of the subculture as a whole.

6/9: Sea Changes – Trasformazioni Possibili is the title of the sixth of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This sixth activation will take place in the Montiferru area, a mountainous area in central-western Sardinia.

  • The project is curated by the platform for spatial and relational practices Lemonot, (Sabrina Morreale, Lorenzo Perri).
  • Advisor: Roberto Flore, researcher.
  • Project incubator: Cabudanne De Sos Poetas.

What needs does the project respond to?

Over the last few years, important scientific studies have demonstrated the need and urgency to rethink food production and consumption systems from a more sustainable perspective.

How can we create new ones that are culturally relevant for future generations as well? What will be the impacts that they could generate on the micro production chains of each territory?

In an attempt to respond to these increasingly stringent needs, the collaboration project analyzes some of the typical production chains of the Sardinian territory, including the mullet and bottarga chain, that of Bue Rosso and Casizolu del Montiferru, della Pecora and Fiore sardo Dei Pastori, and still the chain of cereals and that of wines such as Vernaccia di Oristano and Malvasia di Bosa.

It is essential to recognize - and at the same time question - the cultural relevance of eating habits, studying them as a system with the landscape, the environment, the models of economic livelihood and the architectural heritage.

“If we ever decide to set out concretely on the path of ecological transition – say the curators, Fosbury Architecture – we should look at food as a complex ecosystem made up of energy-consuming, extremely polluting processes and marked by profound inequalities in access to resources”.

What is Lemonot?

Lemonot @_lemonot is a platform for spatial and relational practices founded by Sabrina Morreale and Lorenzo Perri. Born on Brexit day, today it moves between London, Italy, Vienna and Latin America. He works between architecture and the performing arts.

Who is Roberto Flore?

Roberto Flore is a researcher in the field of nutrition. In 2018 he founded the DTU Skylab FoodLab, an interdisciplinary laboratory for food system innovation located at the Technical University of Denmark.

7/9: La Casa Tappeto is the title of the seventh of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This seventh activation will take place in the heart of Librino, a district of the city of Catania, and will involve Studio Ossidiana (design studio founded by Giovanni Bellotti and Alessandra Covini) as a designer.

  • Advisor: Adelita Husni-Bey, visual artist.
  • Project incubators: Talità Kum Association and Order of Architects of Catania.
  • Technical support: Ortigia Sound System.

What is the Carpet House?

Inside the 'ghost' park in the Librino district of Catania, La Casa Tappeto is a mobile and temporary pavilion that interprets a collective desire for shade, protection and lightness, proposing to imagine a pedagogy alternative and transgenerational.

“Building has always coincided with the human attempt to tame the world. The primitive hut to protect yourself from the rain would be made today with tons of expanded polystyrene. – Say the curators, Fosbury Architecture. – We are convinced that there are gentle ways to combine thermal/climatic well-being with social welfare and to welcome a community by taking care of it”.

Obsidian Study

Based in Rotterdam and founded by Giovanni Bellotti and Alessandra Covini, it works at the intersection of architecture, design and landscape . In balance between research and production, the studio explores innovative approaches through buildings, materials, objects and installations.

Adelita Husni-Bey

Visual artist whose work focuses on complex issues of gender, race and class using collective and informal pedagogical models in the context of urban studies.

9/9: Belvedere RN-M-G-M/G-Clt UNI EN 13163:2013 is the last of the nine site-specific activations of “Spaziale presente”

This ninth and last activation takes place in the Florence-Prato-Pistoia plain, and involves the (ab)Normal and Captcha Architecture studios as designers.

Advisor: Emilio Vavarella, artist.

Project incubator: Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato.

What is the purpose of this activation?

Belvedere aims to reconstruct the geographies hidden behind the 'Tuscan pastoral idyll'.

The project is conceived as a journey from the picturesque to the techno-pastoral, capable of revealing and deconstructing the idea of authenticity linked to the postcard-like commercial image of Tuscany. In particular, there are two automated geographies staged by the project: the ornamental nursery apparatus and that of the production of stylish building elements.

Characterized by ornamental plants and stylish buildings, the area shows the possibility of experiencing the 'back shop' where the nursery area becomes a vast urban garden for leisure time.

An innovative industrial tourism interprets this productive region as a 'total forest' which, in addition to providing the aesthetic code of a vast metropolitan area, becomes its major carbon dioxide absorption centre.

"Construction, like all other productive sectors and as required by the Paris agreements, aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. – Underline the curators, Fosbury Architecture. – To achieve a goal of this magnitude it will be necessary to set aside all kinds of rhetoric and operate according to a secular sustainability capable of adapting to all contexts, even the most controversial ones."


(ab)Normal is a design studio and creative agency exploring areas such as design, architecture, scenography and digital art.

Captcha Architecture

Captcha Architecture is a research-based architecture firm that investigates the contemporary condition through the relationship between architecture, politics, technology and ecology.

Emilio Vavarella

Emilio Vavarella is an artist who works at the intersection between interdisciplinary artistic practice and theoretical research.

The calendar of the nine activations of Spaziale Presents

After involving the nine cities - Taranto, Massa Lubrense (NA), Trieste, Ripa Teatina (CH) , Venice, Montiferru (OR), Librino (CT), Belmonte Calabro (CS), Prato-Pistoia - the collective work activated by the Fosbury Architecture project for the Italian Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition enters the concrete phase which envisages its construction on the following dates:

  • March 31 and April 1, 2023: Traces of BelMondo
  • 2, 3 and 4 April 2023: The Carpet House
  • April 6 and 7, 2023: Sot Glas
  • 12, 13 and 14 April 2023: Sea Changes: Possible Transformations
  • 14 and 15 April 2023 (1st part); 28, 29 and 30 April 2023 (2nd part): Uccellaccio
  • 16, 17 and 18 April 2023: The Land of the Sirens
  • 21, 22 and 23 April 2023: Post Disaster Rooftops EP04
  • 24, 25 and 26 April 2023: Concrete Jungle
  • 1, 2 and 3 May 2023: BELVEDERE RN-M-G-M/G-Clt UNI EN 13163:2013

What are the collateral events of the 2023 Architecture Biennale

A Fragile Correspondence - Scotland + Venice

Docks Cantieri Cucchini, San Pietro di Castello 40
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: Scotland + Venice

Catalonia in Venice_ Following the Fish

Docks Cantieri Cucchini, San Pietro di Castello 40A
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: Institut Ramon Lull

Climate Wunderkammer

IUAV Palazzo Badoer ground floor – Calle de la Laca 2468
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: RWTH Aachen University

Diachronic Apparatuses of Taiwan

Architecture as on-going details within landscape
Palace of Prisons, Castle 4209
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

EUmies Awards. Young Talent 2023. The Laboratory of Education

Palazzo Mora, Cannaregio 3659
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Radical yet possible future space solutions

25 May 2023 at the IUAV Palazzo Badoer first floor – Sestiere Castello 3608
26 May 2023 at the IUAV Auditorium Tolentini – Santa Croce 191
Organizing institution: New European Bauhaus, Joint Research Center of the European Commission

Students as Researchers: Creative Practice and University Education

Study and Documentation Center of Armenian Culture, Dorsoduro 1602
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: New York Institute of Technology

Transformative Hong Kong

Campo della Tana, Castle 2126
20 May – 26 November 2023
Organizing institution: Hong Kong Arts Development Council + The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation

Tracé Bleu. Que faire en ce lieu, à moins que l'on y songe?

Campiello Santa Maria Nova 6024
May 20 – November 26, 2023
Organizing institution: CA' ASI