For the second time in its history, the Venice Architecture Biennale will be curated by an all-female team.

The Board of La Biennale di Venezia has appointed Irish architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects as directors of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition to take place from May to November in 2018.

Farrell and McNamara’s exhibition will be the second all-female curation since the program was established in 1980, after Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima’s efforts in 2010. It also marks a highly prolific couple of years for the Irish duo, who’ve received a sack-full of awards for their projects at both national and international scale.

Most recently Grafton Architects were awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) inaugural International Prize for its Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología project in Peru. The same project was also the recipient of the Silver Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2012 and put the firm in good stead to win the brief for the new London School of Economics’ (LSE) £100 million ($163 million) Paul Marshall Building, ahead of the likes of Herzog & de Meuron and David Chipperfield Architects.

A statement issued by President Paolo Baratta explains that Farrell and McNamara’s exhibit will grow from the themes established in the 2016 exhibition curated by Pritzker Architect Alejandro Aravena.

“The Exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena offered visitors a critical overview of the worldwide evolution of architecture and underlined how important it is that a qualified demand on the part of individuals and communities be met by an equally effective response, thereby confirming that architecture is one of civil society’s instruments for organizing the space in which it lives and works.

“Along these lines, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will continue to address the same theme but from the point of view of the quality of the public and private space, of urban space, of the territory and of the landscape as the main ends of architecture. The curators, who are well-known for the refinement of their work, are also known for their intense didactic activity and their ability to involve and fascinate new generations.”

The Australian Institute of Architects is currently seeking suitable candidates for the role of Creative Director to curate the Australian exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Click here for information.