Open Collectives: Venice Biennale Architettura 2021

︎︎︎ Exhibit Website
︎︎︎ Collective Voices Digital Platform
︎︎︎ Collective Dimensions Digital Platform

Open Collectives
Rafi Segal
Sarah Williams
Marisa Morán Jahn
Greg Lindsay

Open Collectives Installation Structure
Rafi Segal A+U (Lead)
Alina Nazmeeva

Collective Voices & Collective Dimensions, 
Open Collectives Digital Platforms

Civic Data Design Lab
Sarah Williams (Lead)
Ashley Louie
Dylan Halpern
Prabhakar Kafle
Alina Nazmeeva
Angela Wang
Adam Janicki
Kwesi Afrifa

Forming Mutualism,
Open Collectives Film

Directed and Edited by Marisa Morán Jahn
Music and Post-production by Marijke Jorritsma (aka Breezy Nix)
Cinematography by Marisa Morán Jahn, Anjum Asharia, Vernon Rudolph, Ben Segal, Marc Shavitz, Rick Rowley, Chris Norris (Mosaic), John Eric Steiner

Research Group
Meng-fu Kuo, Sheng-Hung Lee, Livia Foldes, Fiel Guhit, Vaidehi Supatkar, Dylan Halpern, Laura Cadena, Lesley Onstott

Future Urban Collectives, MIT
Civic Data Design Lab, MIT
Studio REV-
The New School Parsons


Open Collectives is an immersive installation at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2021, featuring four digital and architectural platforms leveraging solidarity to strengthen economic sovereignty, housing affordability, communal self-determination, and mutual aid. Open Collectives offers new perspectives on pressing issues such as the future of work, the gig economy, elder boom, affordable housing, and widening inequality. Featured projects engage with the following themes: Labor, Care, Living, Market.

Initiated by MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab founded and directed by architect Rafi Segal, in collaboration with MIT Civic Data Design Lab director Sarah Williams, artist Marisa Morán Jahn, and futurist Greg Lindsay, Open Collectives asks how new communities can be formed, organized and strengthened through both the digital and the urban.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale Di Venezia is curated by Hashim Sarkis with Gabriel Kozlowski, Roi Salgueiro, Ala Tannir, and Xhulio Binjaku.

The Open Collective station structure for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020. Designed by Rafi Segal A+U, the station’s suspended single surface creates an open yet semi-enclosed space for learning about an emerging architecture for collectives around the world.

This installation showcases several architectural projects by Rafi Segal A+U that emphasize the shared spaces in their design and layout. Divided across four themes: labor, care, living and market, these drawings render the degree of sharing along a scale of colors from the most public: red, to a group share: pink, to semi-share: cream and to white denoting private space. Directed and edited by Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-), “Forming Mutualism” is a film-manifesto that queries relationships between frame and contact, individual and collective, figure and ground, form and signifier. Ultimately, the film invites us to re-think the relationship between collective identity-formation and architecture.

Collective Dimensions is a digital platform that showcases collectives around the world across different sites and programs. An open collective is a voluntary and dynamic group of people sharing common goals and values, and Collective Dimensions seeks to quantify the qualities of open collectives and encourage visitors to compare these differences: economic motivation, membership size, accessible porosity to join, the digital and physical platform presence, and governance structure. As an ongoing open-source resource and archive, Collective Dimensions provides an opportunity for the community to add collectives they know about or participate in.

We are sharing more than ever before, and collective living has been a common solution to our needs as a community. Collective sharing can help address many of our contemporary issues. The Collective Voices digital platform asks visitors to express their ideas across four specific themes—Labor, Care, Living and Market—and the concept of sharing. The results are visualized and visitors are encouraged to learn more about these themes through the architectural project explorations.