Back to articles

Open call for the Pavilion of Finland's curator sparked interest worldwide

White Finlandia-lettering outside a blue wooden pavilion.

Ugo Carmeni

Archinfo sought a curator for the the Pavilion of Finland's exhibition at the 2025 Biennale Architettura through an open call, which ended 5 February. The call attracted a large number of curatorial candidates and interesting exhibition ideas from Finland and around the world.

Text: Anna Rusi

For the 2021 and 2023 architecture biennials in Venice, Archinfo organised open calls for exhibition proposals. In contrast to the previous calls, this time we were looking for a curator to develop their idea into an exhibition. Curators with thought-provoking and forward-looking exhibition themes that are relevant to current Finnish architectural phenomena while resonating with an international audience and global architectural discourse were urged to come forth.

The call got the message across both in Finland and abroad: a total of 45 proposals were submitted from, in addition to Finland, countries such as Italy, the UK, Japan, France, Algeria, Mexico, the United States, Panama, the Philippines and various Nordic countries. 

Visions, sustainability and cultural heritage

The call attracted curators with proposals on a wide range of topics. The most popular themes were Finnish nature and biodiversity, and various sustainability issues were present in almost all proposals.

One collection of themes that emerged frequently was the pressing issue of the appreciation, conservation and maintenance of existing buildings, to stop the current wave of demolition. The proposed ideas reflected the aim of creating experiential, sensory and emotional exhibitions to complement the Alvar Aalto-designed pavilion building. Read more about the Finnish Pavilion.

In addition to future visions, some proposals drew inspiration from Finnish cultural heritage and history. Many of the exhibition ideas aimed to be impactful and convincing – from individual architectural phenomena to the wider context of urban living.

The overarching theme of the upcoming 19th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia has not yet been announced, but the focus and background of the work of Carlo Ratti, who has been chosen as chief curator, may reflect the choice of theme. Ratti is both an architect and an engineer by training and is particularly known as an expert in urban planning. Read more about Carlo Ratti.

The selection of the curator will be announced in March-April

The open call for curators closed on 5 February. A selection panel will review the proposals and invite a small number of curatorial candidates for further interviews. The final selection of the curator will be made at the turn of March and April, after which the selected curator will start developing the exhibition idea into an exhibition plan together with Archinfo.

The selection panel includes architect Pia Ilonen, professor Sofie Pelsmakers and PhD, curator Aura Seikkula. The panel is chaired by Katarina Siltavuori, Director of Archinfo and Commissioner of the Pavilion of Finland.

The International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is the most renowned and prestigious architecture showcase in the world. Archinfo, the Information Centre for Finnish Architecture, is responsible for the Finnish Pavilion's exhibitions as a commissioner appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The 19th Biennale Architettura will take place from 24 May to 23 November 2025.

More information on the open call.