Venice Architecture Biennale reveals theme for 2025 edition


Curator Carlo Ratti and president of the Venice Architecture Biennale Pietrangelo Buttafuoco have announced Intelligens Natural Artificial Collective as the title and theme of the event’s nineteenth edition.

The word Intelligens was chosen to suggest an inclusive “future of intelligence,” according to Ratti.

“The title of the International Architecture Exhibition is usually announced both in English and in Italian,” Ratti said. “In 2025 it will be condensed into a single word for both languages via the common Latin precedent: intelligens.”

“The title Intelligens is linked to the modern term ‘intelligence’, but it also evokes a wider set of associated meanings,” he added. “In fact, the final syllable, ‘gens’ is Latin for ‘people’.”

“A new, fictional root emerges, suggesting a future of intelligence that is inclusive, multiple, and imaginative beyond today’s limiting focus on AI,” he added.

Venice Architecture Biennale to explore new technologies

Set to take place from 10 May to 23 November 2025 across the Italian city, the exhibition aims to explore new technologies to challenge the built environment’s position as “one of the largest contributors to atmospheric emissions”, the Venice Architecture Biennale said.

It aims to search for a path forward by exploring a “definition of ‘intelligence’ as an ability to adapt to the environment with limited resources, knowledge, or power,” it added.

The international architecture exhibition will look at different types of intelligence – natural, artificial and collective – with buildings, objects and urban plans placed along one of those three axis or shown as a combination of the three.

“Learning from many sciences, this exhibition hopes to accelerate the transformation of the present through fearless trial and error, and to find a better future in the process,” the biennale said.

Image of Carlo Ratti curator of Venice Architecture Biennale 2025Image of Carlo Ratti curator of Venice Architecture Biennale 2025
Curator Carlo Ratti has revealed the title of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2025. Photo by Sara Magni

According to the event, architects will be cast in the role of “‘mutagens’ stimulating natural evolutionary processes and sending them off in new directions.”

Ratti aimed for the international exhibition and the national pavilions to have some coordination, suggesting exhibitions address the prompt “one place, one solution.” 

Exhibitions to create “global kit for adapting to the future”

“Showcasing how local ingenuity can address our time’s existential challenge that can only be tackled in a cooperative manner, reflecting a multiplicity of approaches,” Ratti said.

“If every country brings one success to the table, together we can assemble a global kit for adapting to the future.”

The event will also see the second edition of the Biennale College Architettura, led by Ratti as the artistic director, which invites students, graduate students and emerging practitioners under the age of 30 to submit projects that address the theme of natural, artificial and collective intelligence to combat the climate crisis.

The biannual Venice Architecture Biennale is the most significant global architecture event. The appointment of Ratti as the event’s curator at the end of last year was described as a “a screeching U-turn” by critic Catherine Slessor in an opinion piece on Dezeen.

The main image is by Andrea Avezzù courtesy of the Venice Architecture Biennale.



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