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Home Economics, Venice Biennale

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Home Economics is the exhibition commissioned by the British Council and presented at the British Pavilion during the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. The exhibition responds to curator Alejandro Aravena’s theme Reporting from the Front by tackling the frontline of British architecture: the home. Home Economics presents five new models for domestic life curated through five periods of time – Hours, Days, Months, Years and Decades. The five said models are presented as full-scale 1:1 interiors in the British Pavilion, displaying architectural proposals as a direct spatial experience. From the conception of the project, OK-RM collaborated closely with the curators Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams and architects Hesselbrand with the specific responsibility of conceptualising and articulating the visual identity across the multiple facets of the project.

Home Economics is most commonly understood as the science of household management, the design of everyday life. With a reference to the everyday, the visual identity communicates through the graphic vernacular of the home as it can be found in product manuals, furniture catalogues and common soft furnishing such as doormats. An annotated floorplan of the pavilion acts as both logo and graphic primer for the show (and the structure of its presentation), whilst asymmetric diagrams represent each architectural proposal.

The everyday is also captured in a series of artworks made in collaboration with Matthieu Lavanchy. The artworks depict uncanny images of contemporary domestic life, presented alongside provocative, polemic statements intended to prime viewers to the complex themes of the exhibition.

With all project texts collected in the pamphlet, text inside the pavilion is kept to a minimum. Room titles are shared as door mat texts installed in thresholds separating the spaces. A small wall caption in each threshold, painted in another shade from the Farrow & Ball colour palette, gives a clue to the lifestyle proposed in each room.

Curated by Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams
Exhibition Design by Hesselbrand
Artworks by OK-RM and Matthieu Lavanchy

The visual identity and design of the exhibition presented at the British Pavilion during the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016