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Date: August 13, 2012

Author: Lisa Cahill

Read: Anupama Kundoo at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Date: August 13, 2012

Author: Ross Colebatch

The links between CUSP: Designing for the Next Decade and this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale just seem to keep growing. Object board member and CUSP Curatorial Advisory Group member Anthony Burke, who is the Head of the School of Architecture at UTS, is co-curating the Australian Pavilion. Toko, working with the co-curators, is heavily involved with the development of the Australian Pavilion, and are also developing the visual language for CUSP.

The last connection to come about was discovering that Anupama Kundoo, one of the designers featuring in CUSP, has been selected to feature in the Arsenale — the curated portion of the Biennale incorporating work from architects from around the world. This year, the Arsenale, as curated by David Chipperfield, has the theme ‘Common Ground.’

In Chipperfield’s words:
‘The title Common Ground also has a strong connotation of the ground between buildings, the spaces of the city. I want projects in the Biennale to look seriously at the meaning of the spaces made by buildings: the political, social and public realms of which architecture is a part. I do not want to lose the subject of architecture in a morass of sociological, psychological or artistic speculation, but to try to develop the understanding of the distinct contribution that architecture can make in defining the common ground of the city.’

Kundoo’s architectural work is a partially reconstructed 1:1 representational study of her iconic Wall House, originally realised in Auroville, India, in 1996. Auroville is a unique community in India, an experimental township founded in the state of Tamil Nadu in 1968. Founder Mirra Alfassa, in her first public message about Auroville, said: ‘Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.’ (For more info on Auroville, head here.)

The original Wall House was notable not only for its use of traditional materials and techniques, but also for its use of transitional space, redefining and experimenting with the notion of borders. Additionally, it addressed sustainability, both ecological and social, in the unique UNESCO recognised setting. The installation at Venice will take these ideas and expand upon them in the new context, allowing for new explorations of the house as redefined within Venice.

Kundoo is currently in Venice with a team of students undertaking their Masters in Architecture from the University of Queensland, where she is a senior lecturer, as well as local students and Indian craftspeople. You can follow their progress on Facebook, Twitter or their website. You can also watch a short video at the University of Queensland Vimeo channel.

Find out more about Anupama Kundoo’s original Wall House at her website, and click here to find out more about CUSP: Designing for the Next Decade.

Stay tuned to Object Eye for updates about CUSP over the coming months.

This post originally appeared here on Object Eye.