Project Details

Creative Directorship, Venice Architecture Biennale
Project Name: The Pool, Venice Architecture Biennale
Client: Australian Institute of Architects
Location: Sydney, Australia and Venice, Italy
Date: April 2015 – December 2016


In April 2015, Michelle was selected along with architecture firm Aileen Sage, as the Creative Directors for Australia’s exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their winning proposal, The Pool, uses pools in all their forms as a lens to explore Australia's cultural identity.

From pools of necessity to the pools of excess, the pool is a key architectural device, a memory and also a setting. It has the unique ability to evoke both the sacred and the profane. It also aptly represents a distinctly Australian democratic and social space - a great leveler of difference.

The exhibition is an invitation to step outside the architect-to-architect discourse to show how a familiar, common object, the pool, is in fact pregnant with cultural significance. It is both artefact and catalyst of change. The Pool is about public space as a vital component to society and shows the many ways in which its public character is interpreted and occupied.

The Creative Directors will invite visitors into the new Denton Corker Marshall designed pavilion, where a pool will feature within the exhibition space and create an immersive multi sensory experience that will transport visitors poolside. The exhibition  will bring to Venice a suggestion of a particular Australian architectural condition that is augmented and expanded through the use of light, scent, sound, reflection and perspective to create a series of perceptual illusions. The companion publication further explores the significance of the pool, told through the voices of eight prominent Australians. Find out more about the book here.

The exhibition will open in Venice in May 2016 and run until the end of November. Find out more about The Pool here, and more about the Biennale here.

Updates will be available throughout the year on the dedicated blog on the Australian Institute of Architects' website.