Mapping Contemporary Venice

05 Julho 2010

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Mapping Contemporary Venice
A new stage in the Detour project

Ten international architecture studios, an anthropologist, an artist, six academic institutions in Venice and  two foundations have been brought together by the VIU, Venice International University, and Moleskine to work on the "Mapping Contemporary Venice" initiative. This is the seventh stage of the Detour project, which has already travelled to New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul and Tokyo.
From August 26 to September 20, 2010, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Venice International University, Island of  San Servolo, Venice. An event associated with the 12th International Architecture Exhibition. Opening: August 25, 2010, 7 pm. Press Preview: August 25, 5 pm.

Detour / Mapping Contemporary Venice.
The city of Venice seen in a new prospective, as an ultra-modern, metropolitan city, out of the picturesque, then mapped and reinterpreted in Moleskine notebooks. This is the theme chosen by the curator, Raffaella Guidobono, which underpins a selection of great architects, artists, academics and designers based in Italy, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Belgium, the United States, Hungary and Burkina Faso.
The exhibition is a special edition of the travelling Detour project, which has already visited London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul and Tokyo. The next stop will be Shanghai, in October. New contributions join in the show city after city, creating a archive of personal notebooks, donated by their creators to the non-profit organisation lettera27.
Driven by the need to develop a visual narrative for the city, the invited authors describe a conceptual journey towards the Venice's potential future, encouraging a confrontation between economic development and sustainable innovation. The subject of their work is a city in transformation, ready to break free of its shackles and allow itself to be guided by the creative inspiration of the authors involved in the project. Set out in Moleskine notebooks, the visionary idea "High Water in 2060" by the Dutch studio JDS Architects sparks off a dialogue with the hot-air balloon tales of FGMF Arquitetos. Alterstudio Partners reveals native resources. Franco La Cecla's provocative contribution sits alongside the drawings of Giancarlo Carnevale. 5+1AA responds to the experimentation of Aranda\Lasch, while Rojkind and the ASA/Albanese studio provide farseeing, distant horizons. The considered reflections of Francis D. Kéré and Yona Friedman with sketches of "Public Roof Terraces" appear alongside the modern pile dwellings by Giuseppe Amato/QANAT.
The authors complement the art of the notebooks with a concrete vision of the preparatory design, with models, photos and videos. The notebooks are displayed in transparent cases. After putting on special cotton gloves, visitors can and browse the pages, establishing a direct connection with the creative project and following its development page by page.  The list of great architects who have taken part in previous stages of the Detour project includes: Toyo Ito, Massimiliano Fuksas, Italo Rota, Michael Graves, Odile Decq  and Kazuyo Sejima, the director of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition.  

myDetour / Mapping Contemporary Venice.
Alongside the works from the major studios, the myDetour section is dedicated to new talents. On display is an incubator of ideas launched by 20 students from a variety of countries who are studying at six different academies and universities in Venice. The students have scoured the lagoon for visions and fragments of experiences of contemporary Venice, setting them down in their notebooks. By doing so they followed in the footsteps of the great avant-garde creative talents of the twentieth-century artists and writers who used the black notebooks as versatile tools to write and draw in any situation, in streets, bars and cafés of Europe's capital cities. As for Detour, all the myDetour notebooks have been given to the lettera27 Foundation and will continue their journey with the next myDetour cities. Next stop - Shanghai, in October.
The two exhibitions, where visitors are free to browse the notebooks, will be opened the 25th of August at the Venice International University-VIU on the island of San Servolo, as an official side event of the Biennale Architettura 2010. VIU has been involved for some time in research for Venice's new identity. A two-year scientific initiative has allowed the VIU to contribute to the creation of the OECD report on the Venice metropolitan area.  The Detour / myDetour exhibitions are also online. All the notebooks in the collection are presented in the video and photo gallery at


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Detour Authors
5+1AA, alterstudio Partners, Aranda\Lasch, Giuseppe Amato\Qanat, ASA/Albanese,
Giancarlo Carnevale, FGMF, Yona Friedman, Andres Jacque, JDS, Francis D. Kéré, Franco La Cecla, Rojkind.

Curator: Raffaella Guidobono.

The young myDetour creative talents
FONDAZIONE BUZIOL - Arianna Verber, Marco Scapin.
YALE - Internship Salottobuono - Seyoung Shin.
IED - Master foto Silvia Lelli - Stefano Cappella, Giovanni Chiarot, Laura Chiarotto, Lorenzo Gaspari, Maritza Lopez, Francesca Saccani.
IUAV - Pianificazione del territorio - Veronica Milano, Anton Von Pechmann.
IUAV - Urbanistica - Giuseppe Cotugno.
VIU - Aaron Eisenberg.
IUAV - Architettura - Marie Anne Legault, Alessandra Bloch, Davide Crocoli, Pietro Boscolo, Audrey Bal, Simon David Bagge, Eleni Sofroniou, Julia Ess.
IUAV - Design e Arti, Aura Masciopinto, Sofia Bertoli, Isabella Missiaia, Giacomo Coppe, Martina Casonato.
VIU - Megan Sparks, Yariv Muscovich.


VIU - Venice International University
An international centre for advanced study and research, founded in 1995 and based on the island of San Servolo, just a few minutes of boat from St. Mark's Square in the heart of Venice. VIU's mission is to provide advanced research and education courses in an international context through the exchange of ideas and knowledge. Every year the VIU welcomes students, teachers and researchers from all over the globe to its campus, offering the city of Venice and the surrounding region a wide array of academic and scientific activities, with a special focus on innovation and the environment.
The following institutions are associated with the VIU: Boston College (USA), Duke University (USA), Ludwig Maximilians Universität (Germany), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Tilburg University (Holland), Tongji University (China), Tsinghua University (China), Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia (Italy), Università Iuav di Venezia (Italy) Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), CNR (Italy), Fondazione di Venezia (Italy), the ministry for the environment and the protection of the natural and marine heritage (Italy) and the Province of Venice (Italy).

Moleskine was created as a brand in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries, amongst them: Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. A trusted and handy travel companion, the nameless black notebook held invaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books. Today, Moleskine notebooks accompany creative professions and the imagination of our own times: they have become a symbol of latter-day nomadism, and they are intimately tied to the digital world through a network of websites, blogs, online groups, and digital archives.

Non-profit foundation, born in July 2006. Its mission is to support the right to literacy, education, and the access to knowledge and information. lettera27 is the 27th letter of the alphabet, the missing letter, the letter yet to be, the hybrid sign, the empty box, the link between oral and written words, the connection to the future, the intersection of analogic and digital.

Raffaella Guidobono, Curator
Raffaella Guidobono is an Independent Curator and Art/Design Advisor working between Italy, Latin America and Turkey. She has also curated the Moleskine Detour group shows in London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Istanbul, and Tokyo.

Zetalab, Exhibition Designer
Zetalab designed the Detour and myDetour exhibition system, as well as all graphics and videos. Based in Milan, Zetalab is a brand and communication design agency that develops successful projects for companies, products and institutions. Some of its members are active in teaching in Italian universities and renown design schools.