MSD exhibiting at 2016 Venice Biennale

July 16 / 184

Professor Mark Burry and Professor Donald Bates at the MSD X-Ray the city! exhibition in Venice.
Professor Mark Burry and Professor Donald Bates at the MSD X-Ray the city! exhibition in Venice.

A re-evaluation of a seminal work on urban density forms the basis of an exhibition by Melbourne School of Design scholars, practitioners and students, on display at the Palazzo Mora throughout the 2016 Venice Biennale.

In the 1990s the University of Melbourne was bequeathed the ‘Fooks Collection’ by Noemi Fooks, widower of the late Dr Ernest Fooks (1906-1985), émigré architect and town planner, and author of X-Ray the City! The density diagram: basis for urban planning (1946).

Despite his prolific output in built work and publishing, and the extensive national coverage of his work by the design media, Fooks’ work has not been widely acknowledged in general architectural circles.

For the 2016 Venice Biennale, a new MSD collective, Future Factory, takes a fresh look at X-Ray the City! seventy years after it was first published. Their contributions contextualising a broad range of Fooks’ influences and contemporaries are on display in an exhibition at the Palazzo Mora in Venice.

The exhibition and accompanying catalogue touches on urban analytics, design tools, geometry, society and stakeholders, and simply trying to understand the city using the X-Ray analogy offered by Fooks. The exhibition’s three major sections each focus on a bespoke period: 1946, 2016 and 2046.

The MSD X-Ray the city! exhibition runs until 27 November 2016.

Story by Rees Quilford.

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