2023 Edition: Auto-Exotic

The 4th edition of Venice Design Biennial will open on May 19th, 2023. The theme for the upcoming edition is "Auto-Exotic".

Participation is open to emerging independent designers and established brands alike, as well as museums, universities and galleries.

Discover how to participate in the 4th edition at the dedicated webpage.

Ph. Giacomo Gandola

The curatorial theme

The exotic is dead - long live the exotic. They stole from us elsewhere! What is to be done? There will be a self-elsewhere somewhere else. Designers from all over the world unite, self-colonize, self-appropriate!

In his seminal essay Orientalism (1978), Edward Said showed how since the eighteenth century the cultural investigation of the East, understood as the physical and mental space of exoticism, revealed conceptual connections with colonialist practices. Elsewhere, populated by odalisques and caliphs, full of mysteries and sensuality, exercised a fascination in Europe that was intertwined with the practices of political, military and commercial hegemony. Exciting passivity, femininity, indolent sensuality-sexuality, immobility, traditionalism, irrationality: all distinctive traits projected on the East to obtain in negative the mold where to pour the incandescent material - virile, progressive, rational - of Western identity

In recent years, two interrelated phenomena have emerged, which have radically altered this scenario. On the one hand, "exotic" cultures and civilizations have spectacularly reversed the cliché of immobile traditionalism. The great emerging powers are located outside the West. It is the West that shows signs of declining immobility. Elsewhere has found its voice - and it is different from what we expected.

Continue reading the curatorial statement

Publications

"Hybrid Venice. Designing A Self-Portrait" is out!

This is a book about design, forms of self-representation, and Venice, in an age of accelerated transformation mixed with anxiety, hope, disorientation and the perception of nascent conditions.
In this sense it is also, incidentally and simultaneously, the catalogue of the third edition of the Venice Design Biennial.

Read more

Image created by Sebastiano Girardi Studio for VDB

The Residency

The call for the second edition of the Venice Design Biennial Residency close on September 19!

The city offers a one-of-a-kind experience, a program that provides the selected designer with the opportunity to spend one month in Venice and produce a work in collaboration with local makers. 

The program aims at connecting international designers with outstanding artisans, thus developing a strong bond between cutting-edge design research and the traditional craftsmanship of Venice.

Read more about the application process and programme of the initiative.

Tadeas Podracky, winner of VDB Residency 2021, with Francesca Giubilei at Tessiture Bevilacqua studio visit.

The Platform

A curated selection of design in Venice.

The Platform brings to the international audience of the Venice Design Biennial the best stories about people, places, and practices around design culture in Venice.

The city and its territory host a surprisingly multi-faceted community of designers, makers, architects, and creative people who share an innovative approach, rooted in traditional craftsmanship and refined aesthetics.

The Platform's goal is to foster new connections and ideas.

Stay updated
& sign up