Venice Architecture Biennale 2025: a glimpse of what’s to come

Venice Architecture Biennale 2025 and its curator Carlo Ratti reveal the theme, 'Intelligens', and first glimpses into what’s to come at the festival's launch next spring

DCA_Procuratie, Piazza San Marco, view of Venice as the venice architecture biennale 2025 approaches
A view of Venice, featuring 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale curator David Chipperfield's studio project, Procuratie Vecchie in Piazza San Marco
(Image credit: Richard Davies)

In preparation for the launch of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2025 in spring next year, curator Carlo Ratti and the team behind the world's largest architecture festival have revealed today (7 May 2024) the theme to set the pace in the coming shows. With preparations already underway – but their specifics currently under embargo and always a hot topic of speculation in the architecture world – La Biennale di Venezia 2025 will focus on the topic of 'Intelligens: Natural. Artificial. Collective.' 

'The role of the biennale is to look at different challenges. Lesley's was a very important one,' said Ratti at the recent press conference around the event, acknowledging the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale's influential theme by 2024 RIBA Gold Medal winner Lesley Lokko – and hinting at the future and the next steps in the grand exhibition's global explorations.

Carlo Ratti portrait holding a piece of lighting design

Venice Architecture Biennale 2025 curator Carlo Ratti

(Image credit: Sara Magni)

Venice Architecture Biennale 2025 reveals theme of ‘Intelligence’

Ratti said of his theme: 'The title of the International Architecture Exhibition is usually announced both in English and in Italian. In 2025 it will be condensed into a single word for both languages via the common Latin precedent: intelligens. The title “Intelligens” is linked to the modern term “intelligence”, but it also evokes a wider set of associated meanings. In fact, the final syllable “gens” is Latin for “people”. A new, fictional root emerges, suggesting a future of intelligence that is inclusive, multiple, and imaginative beyond today’s limiting focus on AI.'

Exploring his topic through four sections, Ratti announced the sub-themes of Transdisciplinarity, Living Lab, Space For Ideas, and Circularity Protocol as key pillars in the way he's conceived the main show. 

The Biennale College Architettura, which launched in 2023, is also returning in 2025 for its second iteration. Ratti invites students, graduate students and emerging practitioners under the age of 30 to take part and 'submit projects that employ natural, artificial, and collective intelligence to combat the climate crisis'.

The 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale will run 10 May till 23 November 2025

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).