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Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative to Be Showcased in Venice

Posted Aug, 15, 2012

“Pop Up City,” a project of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, will be exhibited at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale that takes place from Aug. 29 to Nov. 25 in Venice, Italy, with the theme “Common Ground.”

Founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale is considered one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world and has been pivotal in showcasing new artistic trends. The exhibition will feature the works of artists that have been selected from more than 50 nations.

The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s project “Pop Up City” is a temporary-use project, which activates some of Cleveland’s most spectacular but underutilized vacant places as havens for cultural and arts activities. At the exhibition in Venice, “Pop Up City” will be included in the official U.S. presentation titled “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.” The Institute for Urban Design searched for several months and collected examples of more than 450 inspiring urban interventions for potential inclusion in the exhibition.

“The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative was selected because our work in the ‘Pop Up Cities’ portfolio exemplifies the best of interventions in the U.S.,” said Douglas Steidl, dean of Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, which oversees Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. “The Institute for Urban Design seeks to publicize possibilities that provide economic stimulus as well as community redevelopment at low cost to the citizens. To be included is an exceptional honor. This exhibition attracts a huge following from all over the world, and our students studying at our campus in Florence, Italy, attend as part of an educational field trip of the Kent State program.”

The “Pop Up City” project will be presented as part of an archive of actionable strategies to improve the public urban realm, and is one of 124 urban actions being displayed at the exhibition. The project also will be featured in the August issue of the magazine Architect, which will be mailed to 80,000 subscribers.

The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s project will be displayed on its own banner, which is part of a larger display system hanging from the exhibition ceiling, each of which may be pulled down individually, triggering other movements in the space. Terry Schwarz, director of Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, is also featured in a short film about the future of American cities that will run throughout the exhibition.

For more information about Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, visit

For more information about the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, visit


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Media Contacts:
Terry Schwarz,, 216-357-3426
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516