Venice Biennale in Architecture recognizes ASAU visiting scholars

July 19, 2023

The 2023 Venice Biennale for Architecture’s prestigious awards program recognized two visiting scholars who have taught graduate option studios at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism.


The Golden Lion for the best participant in the 2023 exhibition was awarded to Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal, co-founders of DAAR, for their long-standing commitment to deep political engagement with architectural and learning practices of decolonization in Palestine and Europe.


Sandi Hilal taught a studio with Instructor Rana Abughannam in 2022 on the theme of divided cities.


Dr. Hilal’s course was called Al Madhafah – The Living Room / املضافة. It traced projects that operated in sites that are located in the spectrum between private and public, that have the potential to blur the traditional roles assigned to both women and men in both private and public realms.

Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal, co-founders of DAAR
Thandi Loewenson, architectural designer/researcher

The Biennale jury also awarded a Special Mention to Thandi Loewenson for a militant research practice that materializes spatial histories of land struggles, extraction, and liberation through the medium of graphite and speculative writing as design tools.


Dr. Loewenson was a visiting Azrieli Visiting Critic at the school in 2021 and taught a studio called Black Flight.


This studio considered black flight operating across a variety of scales — from the meso-and-exosphere, in the worlds constructed through projects such as ATCQ’s Space Program or George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic. The scales also ranged from the urban to the highly localized to devise forms of representation which are best suited to conjuring and communicating architectures of black flight.


The 18th International Architecture Exhibition, titled The Laboratory of the Future and curated by Lesley Lokko, will be open until November 26, 2023.


See all the winners here.