Exhibiting Architecture: Curation, Preservation and Mass Tourism
This intensive summer course asks students to interpret the historical city and the socio-cultural pressures shaping it today by proposing architectural interventions that serve Mass Tourism, Preservation and Curatorial Culture. Students will have the opportunity to witness, appraise, examine, unfold and project explicit or tangential relationships existing between Venice's architecture and urbanism and its pervading 'cultural tourism'. Students should expect to conduct field research at relevant historical sites, museums, archives and the Venice Biennale.

Venice is uniquely poised at the sobering intersection of its own past, present and future; lying somewhere between Curation, Preservation and Mass Tourism. As a result, its architecture and urbanism, demand a parallel project of preservation and modernity – where ancient monuments and a rippling tourist body encounter an un-paralleled culture of curation and exhibition.

This course will investigate the architecture and art of display in Venice by visiting famed museums, churches, fraternities and its Biennale to observe both contemporary and centuries old symbolic, iconographic and spatial strategies which sought to alter relationships between works of architecture (and art) and those who viewed them.

We are interested in interpreting and then designing, for the curatorial cultures of the city's monuments and urban spaces by asking; what does it mean to think of a building as an artefact, a street as an enfilade and a city as an archive?
DATES: July 1 - 13, 2020

DURATION: Two weeks




HOURS: Total: 170hrs

Palazzo Rossini, 4013 Campo Manin, 30124 Venice

+39 320 245 06 31

Applications may be received directly via ECA website.
Students should apply through the Global Mobility Office of their University if the ECA and the Exhibiting Architecture course is approved as a study abroad programme.
This course requires a submission of 5 pages max. (A3) pdf digital portfolio of previous studio work.
- Gain an understanding of key historical material through textual and empirical research
- Demonstrate knowledge of research material through design investigation
- Develop skill in 2D and 3D drawing using standard industry software
- Develop participatory and collaborative skills within the studio environment
- Observe and document contemporary curatorial practices as they apply to the display and exhibition of art and architecture through visits to the Biennale and other significant art and architecture sites in Venice
- Analyse and interpret the social, artistic and political histories of major public buildings and urban precincts in Venice
- Learn to conduct design research at Venice's premier Archives, including the Biennale Archive and the IUAV Archive and Research Centre
- Understand and critically evaluate the roll and consequences of contemporary tourism within Venice and the traditional European city at large
- Theorise and design for the difficult intersection of heritage, preservation and contemporary design
The European Cultural Academy (ECA) is an initiative of the European Cultural Centre. The Academy organises short courses in art, architecture and design.
The Centre is the second largest exhibition space and curatorial platform in Veniceafter the Venice
Biennale. The main operations, spread across 4 palaces, are in Venice, Italy with six international locations including USA, Japan, the Netherlands and China. For more than 14 years the Centre has been organizing art and architecture exhibitions and cultural projects around the world with leading architects, artists and institutional partners.
Architectural Design, History, and Theory; Curatorial Practice and Museology; Heritage and Preservation; Urbanism; Venetian Social Histories.
-Architecture, Design, and Urbanism students (min. 1 year of study completed).
-Post Graduate researchers
-Recent graduates and young professionals
Students are required to bring their own equipment, including laptops and drawing materials.
(more detail for individual studio requirements will be given at a later date)
The Studio Leaders involved in the Exhibiting Architecture: Curation, Preservation and Mass Tourism course are drawn from the academic staff of highly regarded universities internationally, with many maintaining successful architectural design practices. The Studio Leaders, through their research, practice, or both are actively involved in the themes investigated within the Exhibiting Architecture course. Invited guest experts from Italy and further afield also frequently contribute to the program.
This course is equivalent to one 'elective' subject from an undergraduate or graduate degree.
  1. Interim Visual and Verbal Presentation of research at end Wk 1 inc., drawings, digital models, analysis, research material. 30% (Studio and Field Based Learning)
  2. Participation, Engagement in ongoing round-table discussion and / or seminar assessed at end Wk 2. 10% (Studio Learning)
  3. Final Visual and Verbal Presentation at end Wk 2 inc., architectural drawings, digital models, analysis, research material. 60% (Studio Learning)
Architecture Programme Coordinator

Scott Woods is an Academic Fellow in Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Scott teaches architecture history and theory, coordinates the first year design studio in the undergraduate school and leads a graduate design studio with a focus on the museum, its curatorial conditions and representations. At ECA Scott coordinates the summer studios.
Urtzi Grau
Studio Leader

Urtzi Grau is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Master of Research at the School of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney, and founder of Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (FAAA) together with partner Cristina Goberna. Urtzi teaches at the Princeton School of Architecture and Cooper Union and his work and writings have been published in international journals including: 306090, Architect's Newspaper, Domus, Pasajes de Arquitectura y Critica, Pidgin, Volume, Via Arquitectura and Visions.

Studio Leader

Léa-Catherine Szacka is a Lecturer in Architectural Studies at Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARg), the University of Manchester. Her work focuses on the history of architecture exhibitions, the history and theory of postmodern architecture, and, more broadly, the relationship between media and architecture since the 1970s. She has investigated these topics through extensive historical and archival research and using oral history and micro-history as methodological tools.
Studio Leaders

Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme are media artists and architects. They are both directors and co-founders of "MAEID – Büro für Architektur und transmediale Kunst," an interdisciplinary practice based in Vienna, with a specific focus on the relationship between humans, space and performativity. Currently Daniela is a PhD fellow and researcher at ETH Zurich, investigating the relationship between human intuition and robotics while Tiziano is an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Innsbruck focusing on multi-media-composites and material performativity.

Course Brochure
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Course Brochure
Leave your email and phone number to get the brochure.