For more than five decades, Buffalo has inspired and situated the teachings and research of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. In creative exchange, the experiments of its students and faculty — built works, mobilized plans, bold ideas — have woven new dimensions into the fabric of the city.
Now the school is taking Buffalo’s story of place – and our place within it – all the way to Venice as part of an international exhibit organized in conjunction with the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Widely regarded as the premier global forum for architecture and design, the Biennale turns Venice into a city-wide exhibit on the latest thinking in the discipline, drawing more than 300,000 visitors over the course of the six-month event.
The School of Architecture and Planning is among an elite group of academic institutions invited to participate in the “Time Space Existence” exhibition organized by the European Cultural Center and sponsored by the Global Arts Affairs Foundation. In addition to nearly three dozen academic institutions from around the world, Time Space Existence brings together hundreds of leading architects and designers to provoke conversation on the most pressing challenges facing the profession and academy today. The school was recognized in its invitation for rooting design and planning education in research and intensive engagement with its host region. Time Space Existence runs in concert with the Biennale, from May 26 – Nov. 25, 2018.
Drawing inspiration from documentary-style film, the school will stitch together a story of school and city through the sights and sounds of Buffalo, and of our students at work on campus and in the community. Gregory Delaney, clinical assistant professor architecture with a focus in urban design and architectural history, will serve as co-curator with architecture professor and associate dean Korydon Smith.
The school will collaborate with local filmmaker John Paget to produce the film. Paget’s documentary-style films on Buffalo and its architecture have gained national acclaim. An exhibition catalog of faculty and student reflections on the city as context to their work will complement the film.
"For us, it's the full arc of Buffalo's history and the complexity of its current character—in rise and ruin, rust and revival—that shape us," says co-curator Greg Delaney. "We, in turn, get to play a small role in shaping the city, from research studios and design-build interventions to large-scale master plans and partnerships with local agencies and industries. The collaboration with John Paget and the medium of documentary film give us the opportunity to share the experience of our school and city with Venice and the visitors to this year's Biennale."
Students and faculty will be involved in the production, curation and installation of the exhibit. Led by Greg Delaney and Korydon Smith, the effort is supported by a team of five students representing skills as diverse as graphic design, fabrication and architectural acoustics. Additional students will head to Venice this summer and fall for workshops and a study abroad program being organized around the exhibit.
Nicholas Wheeler will put his making skills to work as part of the exhibit's fabrication team. He'll also make his first trip outside the states when he heads to Venice in May. "It's a great chance for me to see the world and experience a culture outside the U.S., which I've never done before. It's also an opportunity to share his pride for UB. "t's a great chance to represent our school and show off the work we do here."
Venice is the city of light, water, and beauty - and top on the list of places to visit for any student of architecture, urban design or planning. Today, our students have before them the learning opportunity of a lifetime - to travel to Venice for the world's premier exhibition for architecture and design.
You can help give our students this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by contributing to UB's "Send our Students to Venice" campaign. Any amount of support counts. For every $2,000 we raise, another student heads to Venice for the travel experience of a lifetime. Students will support the school's exhibit, experience the entirety of the Biennale, explore the ancient city of Venice, and participate in workshops and a study abroad program organized around the exhibit.
In its selection to participate in the Time Space Existence exhibit, the School of Architecture and Planning was recognized for its research-driven pedagogy and its intensive, hands on engagement with its urban context in the City of Buffalo.
Dean Robert Shibley, widely renowned for his work on planning efforts that today underpin the city’s resurgence, says the school's invitation to the Venice Biennale presents a momentous opportunity to put Buffalo, and the University at Buffalo, on the global stage of architecture and design.
“Buffalo holds an important place among the world’s greatest cities for architecture and urban design. And its influence – both the tangible and unseen – comes to life in the imaginations of our students, faculty, and even alumni who carry the city with them into every corner of the world.”