Prof. Stephen Fai on short-listed team for Venice Biennale of Architecture

March 21, 2024

Professor Stephen Fai is part of a team in the running to represent Canada at the 2025 Venice Biennale of Architecture with a project that aims “to provoke architecture to rethink natural abundance as obligation rather than privilege.”

Image Credit: Courtesy of AK A

FIELD+ is a national research and design collective which comprises:


  • Andrew King, founder, AK¬ A/FLDWRK, professor of practice, McGill University School of Architecture

  • Lev Bratishenko, curator and writer

  • Stephen Fai, director, Carleton Immersive Media Studio, and professor, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism

  • Angela Silver, visual artist

  • Shauna McCabe, curator and director, Art Gallery of Guelph

  • Nedra Rodrigo, founder, Tamil Studies Symposium, York University

  • Matthew Hickey, architect, founder, Two Row Architect

  • Josh Taron, associate professor, University of Calgary’s School of Architecture

Dr. Fai is the director of the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), affiliated with the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University. He is also a professor at Carleton’s school of architecture.


The Canada Council for the Arts, the Commissioner for Canada’s official representation at the 19th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, recently announced five shortlisted teams.


The mandate of FIELD+ is to provoke architecture into responsible action and declaring its positions, and to question the norms of the biennial exhibition format, according to the group’s statement on the Canada Council website. It says:


The project is intended to provoke architecture to rethink natural abundance as obligation rather than privilege, starting from the Canadian landscape and its enduring fantasies. How can we engage responsibly with abundance in a country that identifies with a need to grow?


Through a series of public provocations, seven themes will emerge through national collaborations before, during, and after the exhibition, turning the process and the pavilion into living spaces of production and connection open to more publics. We are abundant and heavy with responsibility; we must reconceptualize, redistribute, rearrange, and redesign in response, inviting a more hopeful, inclusive, and just future.


Another of the shortlisted candidates is the Mixtape Collective, which includes Farida Abu-Bakare, a 2009 alumna of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism.


Those shortlisted have been invited to fully develop their proposals and to participate in an interview with the Commissioner and members of the selection committee.


The selected team and proposal will be announced in May 2024.


The Canada Council says it seeks to support proposals with bold ideas that inspire, challenge, and respond to current realities through the lens of contemporary Canadian architecture.