School of Architecture to Participate in Venice Architecture Biennale

FAU School of Architecture

Freeze and Clay Installation.

By polly burks | 3/14/2023

Florida Atlantic University’s School of Architecture in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters has been invited to showcase two of its research areas at the sixth edition of “Time, Space, Existence,” the extensive architecture biennial on exhibition in Venice, Italy from Saturday, May 20 through Sunday, Nov. 26, in conjunction with La Biennale Architettura. “Time, Space, Existence” brings together more than 200 participants, including architects, universities, developers, engineering companies and others, who together have a crucial role in shaping the way we will live in the future.

The first FAU installation is “Salty Urbanism,” which was conceived and developed as a framework for regional adaptation to sea level rise. As South Florida begins to address the inevitable future of climate change and sea level rise, the project envisions a new framework for urban design and architecture that embeds ecosystem services and adjusts to increasingly salty landscapes.  The “Salty Urbanism” framework provides communities with an Adaptation Design and Planning Tool (ADaPT) that embeds ecological processes within urban infrastructure and public space networks to develop urban design solutions that tie together architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning and sciences that can be replicated around the world.

“The Venice exhibition will allow the FAU team to showcase the results of the last six years of research on a global platform that will galvanize FAU as a thought leader on adaptation,” said Jeffrey Huber, associate professor in the School of Architecture.  “This will build upon the project’s recognition as a model for coastal communities.”

The project was funded by two NOAA Florida Sea Grants awards and a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant. “Salty Urbanism” is a collaboration between FAU’s School of Architecture, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Center for Environmental Studies, and Department of Civil Engineering, as well as Huber’s professional office of Brooks + Scarpa.

In 2018, “Salty Urbanism” won a national American Institute of Architects (AIA) Regional and Urban Design Institute Honor Award, which is the highest award the profession of architecture can bestow upon a project and was the first ever won by the FAU School of Architecture and the first for any School of Architecture in the state of Florida. In addition to the national award, Salty Urbanism has also won several state and local design awards.  

FAU’s School of Architecture has set up a funding page to support travel and shipping for the “Salty Urbanism” exhibition in Venice. For more information, visit FAU Funder | FAU’s Salty Urbanism Goes to Venice. For more information about the program, email

The second FAU installation, “Freeze and Clay,” is a demonstration of natural material innovations with ceramics and glass. In particular, the piece celebrates those who make, not only those who design. The installation is a collaboration between FAU School of Architecture, including Joseph Choma, Ph.D., director, and  undergraduate students Daniel Lasso and Jerry Velasquez, and MuDD Architects (based in Barcelona and Paris). The design team has partnered with two international leaders in manufacturing and craftsmanship to produce modules for the sculpture. Laufen, the Swiss sanitary technology company, is producing a dozen hallow ceramic modules and TiPii Atelier, the French glass blowing company, is making 10 handmade glass modules.

“Together these exquisitely crafted modules aggregate to give the visual illusion of polyhedral geometries floating in space,” said Choma. “The overall figure and scale of the sculpture abstractly suggests the bodily posture of a person viewing art on display.”

 FAU’s School of Architecture offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, the shortest professionally accredited degree by the National Architectural Accrediting Board for students with no previous college degree, and allows students a clear path to licensure with the completion of this undergraduate degree. For more information about the school, visit the School of Architecture website.