Since 2008 Foscarini has taken part in the Venice Architecture Biennale where the world's nations explore ideas in form connected this year by event director David Chipperfield's theme 'Common Ground'. With nearly 120 participants the extensive exhibition designed by Chipperfield spans over 10.000 square metres across Venice, from the Central Pavilion at the Giardini parklands to the industrial shipyards of the Arsenale. The theme itself was developed in response to a kind of "passive acceptance" that Chipperfield believes needs urgent reframing. Instead of individual, isolated actions, Chipperfield says that architects should be pushing for "cultural endeavour", with an emphasis on shared ideas as the foundations for a strong architectural culture and an understanding of the world around us.
Research, innovation, product culture and experimentation in form and material are the founding values of Italian lighing group Foscarini and also its cultural engagement. This year Foscarini collaborated with both the international art exhibition and the recently unveiled architecture exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. Throughout the city the group has displayed its full flight of lamps defining the character of both private and public environments in the historic Arsenale and throughout the Giardini.
The story of Foscarini comes to life inside Venice's famous Arsenale Bookshop. On the walls, graphics explain the role played by Foscarini lamps in the world of design and the company's history, cultural projects and most evocative installations are narrated in several videos. A spectacular installation of ten Plass lamps hovers overhead. The majestic lights designed by Luca Nichetto are an homage to the Murano glass tradition and the Venetian artisans, reinterpreted through contemporary materials and techniques.
The 13th International Architecture Exhibition 'Common Ground' opened on 29 August and runs until 25 November 2012. For all the latest news, views and interviews visit the Architecture AU website here.