The OfficeUS Atlas collects the exhibition research in an archive of nearly 1000 architectural projects. Organized according to individual firm histories, the Atlas documents the development of U.S. architectural offices working abroad from 1914 to the present. Offices and their projects are illustrated by over 1200 photographs and architectural drawings. OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion for the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, reframes the history of U.S. architecture through the lens of export in two interrelated constructs: "The Office" and "The Repository". The Repository presents 1000 projects designed by 200 US offices working abroad in a chronological archive of the last 100 years. Collectively these projects tell multiple, imbricated stories of U.S. firms, typologies, and technologies, as well as a broader narrative of modernization and its global reach. The Office engages these projects, revisiting their premises and conclusions over the course of the Biennale. It functions as a laboratory staffed by a diverse group of resident design partners collaborating with outpost offices and a rotating cast of visiting experts. Together, these two halves of OfficeUS create both an historical record of the U.S. contribution to global architectural thought, and a petri dish in which that record is submitted to contemporary agents of disruption and critique.


Friday November 21,

11am, US Pavilion in the Giardini

A. Eugene Kohn, the Chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, who founded KPF on July 4, 1976, along William Pedersen and Sheldon Fox, will lecture on the development of KPF global strategy and some of the major international projects the firm has constructed over the years.

Saturday, November 22,

12pm, Arsenale stage D

Amie Siegel, along with Alberto Momo, Muntadas, Ippolito Pestellini discuss The Architects a film by Amie Siegel and commissioned for the closing of OfficeUS.

2 pm, Arsenale stage F

An informal conversation with the Curators of some of the national participations, Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014

Arsenale Corderie, Monditalia,

4 pm, Arsenale stage F

An informal conversation with some of the participants to the exhibitions, Elements of Architecture and Monditalia

Arsenale Corderie, Monditalia,


Saturday November 22nd 7 to 00
Spiazzi, Castello 3865, 30122 Venezia, Italy (across San Martino Church)

 ...The Mediterranean Sea tradition suggests saying farewell by throwing water behind those who leave. They are expected to return before the water evaporates............... 



DJ Palm Jockey/VJ Spa



To Participate in The World Famous Cicchetti Competition

Design your 'Absorbing Modernity' cicchetto

Produce an edition of 25 copies

Give it a name

Participate in the contest!

Great OFFICE prizes for winners!!!


Sunday November 23, 11am-6pm

US Pavilion in the Giardini

OFFICEUS Partners, Founders and a cast of guests and curators close the United States of America Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with a working session, and a series of conversation with invited guests, including the presentation of the second publication of OFFICEUS, OFFICEUS Atlas, and the upcoming exhibition in Spring 2015 at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, as well as the future paths of OFFICEUS.



A lecture by Shawn McLearen

November 15th, 2014, 4:00pm

In a time of multiple - and often conflicting - reports, studies and/or analyses which rehash the needs of the "arts" and "culture" within the city, a case can be made for a subtle but material shift in the goal of real estate development projects, and the manner with which their sponsors calculate risk and benefit.

By unpacking and reconfiguring the components of a traditional real estate development project (eg., critical path, client, developer, investor, lender, risk, reward, return, rate of return, etc.) this presentation attempts to contemplate the formation of a new entity, the field(s) of its operations, and the means through which to achieve sustainable community development goals.

Big Box Rules Workshop

November 1st, 2014


The Big Box Rules workshop explores the typologies of trade, the logistics that instigate them, and the physical landscapes that they enable in turn. With a series of presentations and conversations with OfficeUS experts on the subject of the big box typology, this week brings Mahmood Faruqi and Jorge Beroiz, both directors at RTKL, Jan-Maurits Loecke, an associate at RTKL and Aran Chadwick, a director at Atelier One.

The one-day workshop will focus on the box typology from a design perspective, specifically through the lens of large, single-use buildings in an urban context. Through both presentations of the work of RTKL in discussion with the OfficeUS partners, Big Box Rules will explore how contemporary strategies towards the big box typology might be capable of rethinking its role within the city and the social engagements that the box supports.

Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation

Talk by Alexander Eisenschmidt

Friday, October 31 at 4 pm

1871 was the year in which the cities of Berlin and Chicago were catapulted into a modern reality. That year the Chicago Fire inspired a building code that in combination with advances in fireproofing iron and steel frames and inventions such as Otis’s safety passenger elevator guided the construction of a new city with massive buildings that soon lined entire blocks of the downtown grid. On the other side of the Atlantic, Berlin’s emergence as the capital of the Second German Empire shifted the political, economic, and cultural landscape of Germany and Europe and established the city as a metropolis. In the wake of these developments, a trans-Atlantic exchange between the two cities began to reconsider each city’s option towards a new

metropolitan condition. Chicago became the model through which Berlin was able to understand its own rapid urbanization during the late nineteenth century and, ultimately, re-conceiving itself as a space of possibilities for the invention of a metropolitan architecture. At the same time, German Sociologists (such as Werner Sombart, Ferdinand Tönnies, and Max Weber) visited Chicago, detected the purest representation of modern urbanization, and helped architects (such as Root John Wellborn Root and Louis H. Sullivan) to comprehend the unique conditions of what they saw as “prototypical American city and ur-metropolis.”

Alexander Eisenschmidt is a designer, theorist, and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His work investigates the productive tension between the modern city and architectural form – a topic on which he has published and lectured extensively. He is author and editor of City Catalyst (Architectural Design, 2012), co-editor of Chicagoisms (Scheidegger & Spiess / Park Books, 2013), designer and curator of “City Works” at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, and co-curator and designer of the exhibition “Chicagoisms” at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014). Eisenschmidt is also founding partner at Studio Offshore.


Venice Book Launch, Presentation and Workshop by Keller Easterling and OfficeUS 

October 10-11, 2014

Over two days Keller Easterling and OfficeUS will discuss forms of action and intervention for architects and spatial practitioners. The open workshop will examine the global implications of information flows, outsmarting regulations, and spaces beyond reach of government.

EXTRASTATECRAFT Friday, Oct 10 - 16:00-18:00

Keller Easterling (Yale School of Architecture) will present her upcoming book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014) that concludes a multiyear research project on the notion of Extrastatecraft and the spatial implications of free trade and special economic zones as the “most contagious new world city paradigm.”

The presentation will focus on An Expanded Activist Repertoire in Infrastructure Space (gossip, rumour, exaggerated compliance) as a set of strategies suggesting engagement and resistance in spaces that exceed national, governmental and economic borders.  

Followed by roundtable discussion with OfficeUS Partners and audience.

INTRODUCTION TO A NEW WORLD LEXICON Saturday, Oct 11 - 11:00-16:30

Presentation by OfficeUS Partners 11:00-13:00

Partners will present a list of projects and strategies that have been developed and used in OfficeUS over the last months. Drawing from the presentations and concrete examples a list of terms reflecting on the work of OfficeUS as a global practice will be assembled and discussed with the participants of the workshop, such as: mediatic office, patent, embassy, museum, comfort, standard, corporate geography, work, certification, manual, soundtrack, franchise, competition, exception...

[1 hour lunch break]

Workshop: Definitions / Diagrams 14:00-16:30

Using the collected terms from the morning discussions the group will identify, define and evaluate their performance. In this session participants will use images, diagrams, code, websites, words and drawings to transform these terms into new active forms for global offices worldwide.


September 26-October 2, 2014

Curated by Cornell University and OfficeUS

With the participation of:

Aaron Betsky, Jane Loeffler, Jason Schupbach (NEA), and Caroline O'Donnell(CODA)/ Michael Jefferson(JeLe) (Cornell University) and OfficeUS. 

Anger-Love Management explores the spaces, typologies and protocols of the architectures of diplomacy. With a series of presentations and conversations with OfficeUS Experts in the subjects of diplomacy, architecture, governance and politics, this week brought Jane Loeffler and her expertise on the subject into the OfficeUS table. On Thursday, Jason Schupbach, the director of the National Endowment for the Arts, will discuss his role in the production of culture with the talk "Design Government: Work at the Intersection of Design and Public,"O’Donnell and Jefferson will present “US and Them” which will frame their students’ research on 32 embassies and pose questions for future embassy design, and Ashley Schafer will present xxxx. On Friday, Cornell students will participate in a design workshop, and on Saturday, Aaron Betsky will lecture on the role of different design elements and typologies in the implementation of a global economy, society and culture with a lecture at 2pm on "Domes, Grids, and Grates: The Power of American Architecture".


Curated by Autodesk and OfficeUS

September 18-20, 2014

With the participation of Sierra Bainbridge (MASS Design Group), Phil Bernstein FAIA RIBA (Autodesk, Yale), Steve Brittan Associate AIA (Sasaki Associates, SACI), Mario Carpo (University College London), Jordan Carver (WBYA? Who Builds your Architecture?), Seth Edwards (Case), Peggy Deamer (Yale), Mario Giaccone (University of Torino), Patrick MacLeamy FAIA (HOK, BuildingSMART International), Raul Pantaleo (TAMassociati), and Mabel Wilson (GSAPP, WBYA?).

US Pavilion, Giardini (Venice, Italy)

To see the full schedule, please click here.

Ethical imperatives currently hover over architectural practices worldwide. The notion of exploitation, environmental or human, is often addressed today less through a recourse to previous principles for the generation of form, space, or program than through bureaucratized frameworks that involve little beyond simply checking, for better or worse taste, a compliance box. The US Green Building Council (USGBC), the developer of the LEED building rating system, was created in 1993. The aura surrounding LEED Platinum certification has become a common object of desire among developers and clients around the world, sometimes more powerful than any local code. Buildings around the world are being designed to enter the club of the self-consciously responsible in relationship to energy consumption and sustainable practices. In a parallel manner, a growing awareness of the conditions of labor on construction sites worldwide has prompted reflection on questions of human sustainability and the principles that might be applied, whether through measuring tools or design strategies, to make the building of architecture an ethically tenable construct. What are the mechanisms for ensuring human sustainability?


The OfficeUS Workshop on Labor LEED investigates the relationship between the implements of architectural practice and the opportunities and outcomes of our profession. Can social, economic, architectural and technological aspirations be encoded into indices and processes for design? Can a measurable system for design and its process increase the sustainability of society and improve the situation for the individuals who create, use and maintain its physical environment?


A group of designers, business leaders and academics will consider what new tools, codes, and measurements might be developed in the future to motivate higher levels of social and economic sustainability and access.


Lecture and discussion

with Kent Jackson and Bill Baker

Saturday, September 6th, 2PM, US Pavilion, Giardini (Venice, Italy)

Through processes of optimization and organization, US architecture firms such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) have claimed to produce the best, for the most, for the least - what OfficeUS calls architectural "Superlatives." Since the firm's emergence in 1936, SOM has been the architectural office synonymous with the term "corporate" in its practices. Modeled on many of the same managerial principles of its corporate clients, SOM applied strategies such as decentralization and specialization to architectural practice. Despite its scale, SOM has represented a unique combination of design authorship and pragmatic acumen. The firm has a large presence in the OfficeUS Repository, which chronicles the story of U.S. architecture built abroad.

SOM Design Director Kent Jackson, and SOM Structural and Civil Engineering Partner Bill Baker will join OfficeUS Partners for a one-day workshop that aims to give an overview and specific insights on different scales and scopes of their architecture projects - from the aesthetic to the material to the technical to the managerial.

Documentation of Hito Steyerl's lecture "Is the Museum a Battlefield", first shown at 13th Istanbul Biennial, still from video. 40 min.


Screening and discussion
with Hito Steyerl

Friday, September 5th, 5PM, US Pavilion, Giardini (Venice, Italy)
“What do an empty bullet casing and the contemporary art museum have in common?” asks Berlin based artist Hito Steyerl in her video work that she will show and discuss at OfficeUS. Her investigation into, and a reflection on the Museum as a Battlefield deals with the relation of art spaces to sponsors and their connection to the military-industrial complex.

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer. She teaches New Media Art at University of the Arts in Berlin. Steyerl studied film at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tokyo, the University of Television and Film in Munich, and holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. The most formative parts of her education, however, include working as a stunt-girl and bouncer. Steyerl’s work focuses on the intersection of media technology, political violence, and desire by using humor, charm, and reduced gravity as political means of expression.


East by East West

Workshop with Adnan Yildiz

Tuesday, July 29th, 3-5PM (Venice, Italy)

This week's issues “Global Citizenship” and “Cargo Cult” at OfficeUS imply a framework of mobility and transportation (medial, linguistic, …) referring to questions: "How do we communicate with a creative idea? What travels with whom? How do we transmit our experience to the target audience/clients? What really happens with the physical body of a product? What stays with us after the presentation?” Is there an American way of doing it, e.g. “Glimpses of the USA”? In terms of the format and strategies of narration? To respond these questions, Adnan Yildiz fantasizes if there is a possibility of bringing an Anatolian-European perspective on the topics of transportation, mobility, movement, tele-communication, and telepathy. After a short introduction into his curatorial practice regarding some projects at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Polistar (Istanbul) and Palais de Tokyo (Paris), he will focus on the role of video conception/production/circulation in relation to the social changes, political transitions, and psychology of transformation -of audience-perception, time, space. With some selected video works, Yildiz focuses on the thin red line between geopolitical realities, and filmic memory.  

Left: North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock (starring Cary Grant), 1959

Right: Karabaş Veli Külliyesi (Siyaser Veli Camisi) Karaman



Workshop with Professor Anupama Rao (Barnard College, Columbia University) & OfficeUS Housing Public Good research group:

Photo: Rehabilitation project in Dharavi

Saturday, July 26th, 4-6PM (Venice, Italy)

Please join us at the US Pavilion or through Glip Video and Google Hangouts  

“Subaltern Urbanism?” will examine contemporary discourses and strategies around housing projects in a global context. We will touch on experimental self-building and self-funding initiatives; the role of the state in conditions of deregulated and informalized development; the privatized planning processes and financial speculations associated with these trends… What prototypes of “citizenship” do different housing models enact and (re)produce? What is the role of architecture --and architects-- within these processes?

In preparation for the workshop, please read the following materials:


Potential Participation Party

July 25th 2014

2:00 pm Introduction

2:15 pm Guest presentations / Discussion with Adnan Yıldız (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart), Anupama Rao (Branard College, Columbia University), Aristide Antonas (NTUA, Volos), Kaarin Taipale, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (OMA)

 and Andrew Ross (NYU)

4:15 pm Screening of "AIR UP! Construction of the US Pavilion at EXPO '70 Osaka - A United States Information Agency Project"; Restoration by MetaForm Design International with Mina Chow, Joann Huang, Yusuke Isotani, Clark Muller

4:40 pm Workshop on engagement methods

8:30 pm Party with Guggenheim Effect cocktails and Palm Jockey DJ/VJ set at


Lungomare Gabriele D’Annunzio

Lido di Venezia