Tales of Exception

Tales of Exception is the final reel with selected contributions of State of Exception Instagram Call, screened onto the Corderie dell’Arsenale Stage D in occasion of the second day of the State of Exception Weekend Special, Monditalia, 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia (August 23-24 2014), on invitation by the artistic director Rem Koolhaas. (press release)

Live panelists in Corderie dell’Arsenale, Stage D:
Luca Silenzi – Rule, derogation and exception in architecture
Paolo Bettini – Preservation and tanathophobia
Fabrizio Gallanti – Usucapio | I fought the law and the law won
Joseph Grima – Italian exceptions
Manuel Orazi – Critical editions
Socks Studio (Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli) – The atemporal condition
Renata Codello – Dealing with architectural glassware
Lucia Allais – The Italo-globalization of preservation
Ippolito Pestellini + James Westcott (OMA/AMO) – RE-

Guest contributors:
Davide Tommaso FerrandoThe italianness of Italian landscape
Cruz Garcia – Nathalie Frankowski (WAI Think Tank)Manifesto Without Qualities
Cherubino GambardellaCrime in Casa Malaparte
SMALL (Rossella Ferorelli + Alessandro Cariello)Margherita. Story of a theatre whatever the coast
Carmelo Baglivo
Luca Galofaro
Evangelina Guerra Lujàn (TheNomad)
Luigi Manzione
Ethel Barahona Pohl

State of Exception is a project curated by Spacelab, with the art direction by Folder.

(image credits, when not specified, belong to the respective authors)

Breaking news: Spacelab will perform “State of Exception” in XIV Biennale di Architettura di Venezia 2014


Spacelab is proud to announce to be involved in “Fundamentals“, the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, as part of the Monditalia international exhibition in the Corderie dell’Arsenale with the curatorial project “State of Exception”.

Special thanks to OMA, Fabrizia Vecchione and Ippolito Pestellini who invited us in this adventure, and thanks to all the amazing friends, institutions and partners that will take part in this project.

More details will be revealed in the following months. Stay tuned on the Spacelab Facebook Page for some sneak peeks!

Luca Silenzi: a prologue for WAI’s “Pure Hardcore Icons” manifesto

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Form, substance is the prologue written by Luca Silenzi for Pure Hardcore Icons (Artifice Books, London 2013), a manifesto on pure form in architecture conceived by the Beijing-Paris-based WAI Architecture Think Tank (Cruz Garcia+Nathalie Frankowski).

The text is a perspective on the dialectic between form and architecture, deepening the fascination of some primitive, timeless formal concepts inside the mind of designers, jury members and clients.

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Luca Silenzi featured in CLOG:RENDERING

We are honoured to announce that Luca Silenzi – Spacelab Architects co-founder and director – is featured as contributor in the fourth issue of CLOG, dedicated to the topic of “rendering”, with an essay entitled “Real VS Plausible”.

Here is the abstract of CLOG:RENDERING, in pre-order starting from today (the printed issue will be available for shipping and purchasing starting from mid october 2012):

As information is distributed and consumed at an increasingly rapid pace, one of the most effective (or at least pervasive) ways to communicate architectural ideas is through renderings. Typically a perspectival image that can be understood without any knowledge of architectural drawing conventions, the rendering derives power from its accessibility to a wide audience-hence its crucial role in design competitions, client presentations, press releases, and other such public forums.

While these architectural visualizations are certainly nothing new, advances in software and hardware have enabled renderings to be made faster and more realistic than ever before. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, design concepts can now be tested and conveyed with an unprecedented degree of visual accuracy. Conversely, whether through omission, extreme dramatization, or even intentional fakery, architects now have the ability to realistically depict the impossible. Furthermore, both clients and public are beginning to expect photorealistic imagery even at the earliest stages of a project, when supposed ‘realism’ can oftentimes belie the fundamentally speculative nature of design. Given the importance of these images in mediating between architects and the people they ultimately serve, CLOG will critically assess the state of renderings today.


Michael Abrahamson, Bertrand Benoit, Rachel Berger, Jon Brouchoud, Eric de Broche des Combes, Ilana Cohen, Margot Connor, Victoria Easton, Scott Farrar, Kurt W. Forster, Kevin Frank, Fabrizio Gallanti, Pablo Gallego-Picard, Donald P. Greenberg, Trond Greve Andersen, Benjamin Halpern, Kevin Hayes, John Hill, Julia van den Hout, Incorporated, Alfie Koetter, Labtop, LTL Architects, Nancy Lin, Carl Lostritto, Thomas Lozada, The Functionality – Andrew Lyon, Mansilla Y Tunon Arquitectos, Kyle May, Adam Nathaniel Mayer, Elizabeth Mcdonald, Samuel Medina, Mockitecture, The Office of PlayLab, Inc., Becky Quintal, Deepa Ramaswamy, Andrew Rasner, Jacob Reidel, Sam Roche, Philipp Schaerer, Julia Dorothea Schlegel, Dominik Sigg, Luca Silenzi, Aaron Craig Smith, Ben Strak, John Szot, Victor Tsu, Francisco Villeda, Joel Wenzel, Human Wu, and Christian Zollner.

“Know your [archi-]meme”: Luca Silenzi featured on Domus #956, now on newstands

We are proud to announce that Luca Silenzi, Spacelab Architects founder and director, is featured on the March issue of Domus – the prestigious international architecture and design magazine edited by Joseph Grima – with a paper on “architectural memes”.

“We think we’re original, but in reality we are carriers of, and work on, the ideas of others. Luca Silenzi borrows a concept from evolutionary theory to describe the processes involved in the communication and transfer of forms in contemporary architecture” (Domus 956, March 2012)

Compared to the article “Architectural memes” published in our Imho Blog in March 2011, the Domus essay introduces new perspectives and a working hypothesis for a taxonomy of architectural language (we’re working hard on it, stay tuned!).
The paper (here is the link to the Op-Ed/text-only format in Domusweb) is complemented by a complex infographic curated by Density Design.

@spacelab_it @lucasilenzi

[PS: Special thanks to Joseph Grima, Zoè Chantall Monterubbiano, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Marco Ferrari, Azzurra Pini, Laura Bossi: each one knows why].