Sexy Assemblage

18. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura - La Biennale di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future

Sexy Assemblage — The Danger and Seduction in Juxtaposing Differences that May Clash
18. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future


As part of the 18th. International Architecture Exhibition, Leslie Lokko’s ‘Laboratory of the future’, we were invited to participate in the ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ section in the head of one of the Corderie buildings at the Arsenale in Venice. We presented the research of orizzontale in dialogue with the curatorial themes with “Sexy assemblage – The danger and seduction in juxtaposing differences that may clash”.

Sexy assemblage shows a heterogeneous approach to designing public spaces, where play, actions and communities together generate time and space to experiment with new forms of collective gathering.

How can we bring together seemingly very different and distant skills, people, places, materials, stories, and desires? Different tools, both formal and informal, contribute to the creation of the assemblage, shaping multiple ‘open systems’ instead of defining isolated formal solutions.

Starting from a dialogue between different horizontal projects, Sexy Assemblage seeks to explore these tools when applied in different contexts, scales, and spaces.

At the Arsenale, a visual landscape presents a general approach to public space, collecting ideas, images, and texts; at the same time, the space itself becomes a form of collective aggregation, physically constructing both a formal and informal meeting place for the Biennale.

In this sense, the assemblage aims to create a common ground on which collective meetings and confrontations take place, the space in which experiences are shared and brought together, and the space in which conflicts and collisions are addressed and resolved (or not).

In Sexy Assemblage, the collective construction of public space becomes a model for inhabiting and building the city. By testing unusual uses, assembling objects, and collecting the experiences that emerge during the process, the space becomes a laboratory for future communities.

Sexy Assemblage hosted part of the Biennale College programme as a space for sharing and collective reflection.


How to deal with public space?


With this question we would like to build an open dialogue to identify the different elements that together contribute to the construction of a public space.


The Map 


Within the exhibition, the map develops the image in the form of a triplet of cities. A city composed of distant geographies, narrating places and projects in which orizzontale has acted.

This city is made up of the relationship of coexistence between inhabitants, people, and other species (plants, animals). The complex organism that forms the city is also a ‘battlefield’ where rights, bodies and identities claim their particularities/differences. These tensions at the same time can find a balance, common ground.

Cars disappear from the streets to make way for collective transport and other forms of soft mobility. Other machines are shown, those for social interaction.

And with this representation, developed by orizzontale and Lukas Hamilcaro, we wanted to stimulate a vision.

Or different visions of shared urban futures.

It is up to the viewer to interpret and shape their own vision.

A city image of their own.


The Table of Tables


Like public space, tables are multidimensional: the table represents a familiar space where moments of intimacy, storytelling and more generally conviviality take place.

Tables can be lively playgrounds and at the same time decision-making spaces where agreements are made.

Tables are spaces for doing things together, workplaces for learning and sharing knowledge and skills, in which to engage in participatory processes.

The table is an iconic surface where collective dialogues can work in search of possible common ground. The table, like the city, can also be a battlefield.



indoor installation




May - November 2023


La Biennale di Venezia


120 sqm


Corderie (Arsenale di Venezia)

In collaboration with

Lukas Hamilcaro

With the support of


Technical Sponsors

Fantoni Spa, Qu Srl


Andrea Avezzù, Marco Zorzanello courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia, orizzontale

installations, installations, research, research