Future Islands has three main themes: architectural responses in a country of increasing diversity; the unsettled and changing nature of architectural practice; and the professional and social responsibility of architects to engage in speculative projects.
The exhibition is inspired by Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, in which the Venetian traveller Marco Polo tells the Kublai Khan 55 tales about wondrous cities, all of which turn out to be stories about one city: Venice. In the spirit of Calvino’s book, the New Zealand exhibition offers many perspectives on one subject: contemporary architectural practice in New Zealand.
In Future Islands architecture is presented, literally, as an archipelago of practices. Architects might exist in closer or more distant relationship to each other, but they are all located in the same sea. The exhibition consists of 22 floating forms, suspended from the ceiling of the host palazzo. Placed on or around these “islands” are more than 100 architectural models, representing 50 projects designed by New Zealand architects and students. Some of the projects have been built, and others were intended to be purely speculative. Together, they suggest the world of possibilities that both challenge and engage today’s architects.