Beyond the Biennale

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Projektart und Laufzeit

FFF-Förderprojekt, September 2019 bis August 2021 (abgeschlossen)


Institut für Architektur und Raumentwicklung


Nachhaltiges Planen und Bauen


Nachhaltiges Bauen


Since its beginnings the International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale (short: Biennale) has become an influential protagonist within international architectural debates, due to its ability to draw the most renowned and high profile tendencies to Venice. Not only is the Architecture Biennale a place for cultural translation and trans?national encounters but also a testing ground for technical innovation (spatial, material) and a platform for research and education. It has become a site of experimentation and innovation defining new ways of architectural production. It can be seen as 'a place between' art and architecture in the public realm or what Jane Rendell (2006) calls a 'critical spatial practice' based on Lefebvre's 'spatial practice' (1991) where the concerns lie on the processes, rather than on the objects, providing a tool for social change and self?reflection. In recent years there has been a thorough analysis and documentation, through articles, interviews and images and books of the activities and contributions of the participating pavilions, providing an overall idea of the curatorial concepts, the spaces and events. Less material can be found about the collective memory of a posteriori effects of Biennale activities (vgl. Levy and Menking, 2010;
Ricci, 2010; O'Neill, 2012). Therefore, this project aims to fill the gap by asking the following questions:
  • Cultural policies (political): what are the institutional models and goals of organising a biennale participation and how are they evaluated a posteriori? (keywords: policies, strategies, funding)
  • Cultural industry (economic): what influence do Biennale contributions have on the emergence of cultural economic values/challenges, both in the public as well as the private sector? (keywords: collaborative creativity, value?chains, networks).

Cultural institutions are increasingly being asked to articulate and justify their activities by evaluating and outlining the creation of added value. To achieve positive effects of cultural work in the political context of cultural and educational policies requires a goal? and impact?oriented planning with different partners. Documenting the effects and the use of the gained knowledge for the steering and planning of future projects as well as for the reasoning for future funding seems increasingly important.
The goal of the research project 'Beyond the Biennale' is to analyse, through mapping, literature review and interviews, the 'a posteriori' activities of Biennale?entries in order to outline the effects they have created. The comparative study will focus on the creation of a collective memory of three past winning participators; Korea (2014), Spain (2016) and Switzerland (2018).
The work is not meant to be an evaluation of cultural practice (De Perrot and Wodiunig, 2008; Ermert, 2008) but a record of emerging side?effects in the context of participating countries at the Architecture Biennale.
The findings want to contribute on one hand to the discourse about architecture exhibitions (academia) and on the other hand give a comprehensive insight to stakeholders of cultural and political institutions involved in Biennale activities.

Project results:


  • Forschungsförderungsfonds der Universität Liechtenstein


  • Böckle, B.-C., & Staub, P. A. (2020). Interview on research project »Beyond the Biennale« Keine Biennale, kein Diskurs. MODULØR, 6(9), 50 - 53.