The University of Illinois Chicago School of Architecture, currently housed within the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA), is presenting the United States pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Faculty members Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner are co-curating American Framing, an exhibition that explores wood-framed construction in American architecture.
American Framing will focus on the architecture of wood framing, the most common building system in the United States and one of the country’s most important contributions to the building tradition. With a monumental installation at the entrance to the neoclassical U.S. pavilion and newly commissioned photographs, models, and site-responsive furniture, the exhibition will draw attention to an architectural element that has been largely overlooked in the architectural discourse.
“We want to work with a particularly American theme and open up new possibilities for design,” says Paul Andersen, co-curator of the U.S. pavilion. “The exhibition will look back at the history of wood framing and speculate on how buildings might be different if we restrain or exaggerate the system itself.”
Full-scale works outside the pavilion will offer visitors a firsthand experience of wood framing. Visitors will enter the U.S. pavilion through an installation designed by the curators.
Inside, American Framing will showcase the people, work, and history of wood framing through photographs documenting the fir and pine forests where the trees used for lumber grow. Another photographic series will focus on framing materials and the people who work around mills, shops, and construction sites.
Students at UIC will present a selection of building models that trace the history of wood framing from its early development through various social and cultural moments of the 20th century.
Credits of each photo are included in the description of the photos
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