Just a few days after the close of the 2018 Venice Biennale Architettura, the numbers are in and they don’t disappoint.
Over the course of six months, FREESPACE, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, attracted an inordinate and unusual crowd. In addition to the 14,434 pre-opening attendees, the exhibition welcomed over 275,000 visitors. The year’s totals saw an increase of 6% in visitors, but more excitingly, half of the visitors were under 26.
In a statement by La Biennale di Venezia, President Paolo Baratta thanked the curators and Biennale staff saying:
‘With a Biennale dedicated to space, and to free space in particular, thanks to Yvonne [Farrell] and Shelley [McNamara] we have celebrated architecture in its most delicate, noble and socially useful of functions, which is to contribute to the common good. Be it the fruit of the client’s or designer’s generosity, the fruit of institutional or collective actions, free space qualifies the way we live with a more complete vision of our civilization and our culture. Having freespace is a right, creating freespace is a duty.’
The following is a quick rundown of figure highlights including overall numbers, education and social media outreach.
- 71 Architects were invited to the Exhibition
- 2 Special Sections: Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects – 16 participants and The Practice of Teaching – 13 participants
- 63 National Participations
- 29 National Participations in the historical Pavilions of Giardini
- 24 National Participations in the Arsenale, including Italy
- 10 National Participations around the city of Venice
- 6 National Participations for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Holy See
- 2 Special Projects: Applied Arts Pavilion, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Forte Marghera Special Project in Mestre
- 12 Collateral Events
- 160 affiliated universities, including 50 Italian and 110 international universities (a 16% increase from 2016)
- 5,730 university students were involved
- 2,280 groups participated in educational activities (a 15% increase from 2016)
- 17,120 adults and public participated in guided tours
- 103 Italian secondary students participated in the internship programme with a combined total of 3,700 hours of activities
Social media engagement:
- 341,720 total Facebook fans of the Biennale Architettura page
- 701,559 Twitter followers
- 297,907 Instagram page followers (80,000 plus since the opening of Biennale Architettura
Hot off the heels of these totals, La Biennale di Venezia is already looking forward to the 2019 Biennale Arte baring the title May You Live in Interesting Times. The biennale will examine life within uncertain times with ‘interesting times’ referring to the world of today. The 58th International Art Exhibition will feature National Participations and Collateral Events and run from May 11th 2019 through November 24th of the same year.