Geoscope 2: Worlds, a split-sphere, multimedia installation, is featured at the Biennale Architettura 2021 in Venice, showcasing over a dozen (and counting) contemporary voices inside and outside architecture, ranging from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kazuyo Sejima to radical ecologist and philosopher Timothy Morton.
Inspired by Daniel López-Pérez’s provocative and luminous book R. Buckminster Fuller: Pattern Thinking (Lars Müller Publishers, 2020), architects Jesse Reiser, Nanako Umemoto (Sam Fox School professor of practice), and team were challenged with displaying the breadth and quality of its content for an exhibition at Princeton University in February 2020. The result was a first iteration of Geoscope 2: a pneumatic, spherical multimedia environment and continuation of Fuller’s original geoscopes, reimagined through contemporary means. A year later, Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture is thrilled to see the second iteration on view at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition.
The first geoscopes, constructed by students of R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) 60 years ago, were conceived as “embodiments of the world looking at itself” and a means of comprehensively understanding one’s relationship to the world. In response to the Biennale’s question “How will we live together,” Geoscope 2 flouts the idea of a single world body in favor of “many worlds” — chaos generated by multiple bodies interacting with each other — by literally splitting the sphere in half and opening it up to multiple contributors and perspectives.
“Fuller’s Geoscopes, while conceptually ambitious, were technologically limited by their times: literally analog vinyl spheres covered in decals in the shapes of the continents,” note López Pérez and Reiser. “The way we see it, new technologies and advances in how we view the world have allowed us to simultaneously reimagine and challenge Fuller’s original project. We believe that disunity, disjunction, and dissensus — ‘worlds’— are to be celebrated as evidence of true diversity in how we think, act, and interact with one another. This is our critical take on how will we live together: spirited agon as opposed to polite relativism.”
Visitors to the installation at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini will find themselves enveloped in a panoramic multimedia experience projected over 42 individual faces. Comprised of an international cast of contributors, Geoscope 2: Worlds generates a complex, kaleidoscopic ecosystem, a tableaux of world-thinking on the edge.
Geoscope 2 Design: RUR Architecture, Reiser+Umemoto
RUR Architecture Team: Julian Harake, Katherine Leung
Inflatable Design: Pablo Kobayashi / Unidad de Protocolos
Inflatable Fabrication Team: Lucía Aumann, Ernesto Falabella, Emilio Robles, Pablo Kobayashi / Unidad de Protocolos
Experience Design: Jan Pistor - Bureau 314 / for iart with support from Denim Szram
Exhibition Manager: Kira McDonald / Princeton University School of Architecture
Partnerships & Communications: Lukas Fitze / iart
Trailer Video: Onome Ekeh / Futurezoo