Venice Biennale 2021

Venice, IT  2021

Grove is a new kind of gathering place that offers a vision for inclusive open building. Instead of rigid walls and territories that divide us, can we live in open,worlds? The installation invites visitors to gather among forest-like shadow plays and fields of voices surrounding a projection pool containing a vision of worlds in formation.  

The film that forms the centerpiece of the circular projection pool is a collaboration with Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones. The film explores the polarities of life and death, using an astral, dreamlike vision to re-examine humankind’s relationship with nature. Within the environment, a child-like being emerges. A multichannel sound environment composed by LASG collaborators Salvador Breed with Amsterdam-based 4DSOUND includes multiple whispering voices that surround the child. 

The physical testbed of the Meander environment in Cambridge, ON forms the basis of the film environment. Advanced modeling and expanded-reality processing is used to offer a spectrum that ranges from delicate, distant fragments to deeply saturated and immersive fields of highly structured cellular tissues and skeletons. Surrounding Grove’s projection pool is a cluster of custom omnidirectional speakers mounted in totem-like cages. Hovering above these is an undulating canopy of lace-like skeletons with suspended liquid-filled jewel-like vessels.


Philip Beesley

Project Lead

Timothy Boll


Sascha Hastings


Warren du Preez
Nick Thornton-Jones
Salvador Breed
Poul Holleman
Iris van Herpen
Codrin Talaba


Living Architecture Systems group (LASG)
Gorbet Design Inc.
Immortal Productions
Atelier Iris van Herpen
Riverside Architectural Press
Rock Paper Robot
Wicked Pixels

LASG Executive

Matt Gorbet
Rob Gorbet
Ellie Hayden
Michael Lancaster
Anne Paxton
Stephen Ru

LASG Studio

Bria Cole
Kevan Cress
Mackenzie van Dam
Mark Francis
Ilana Hadad
Lisa Jiang
Glenn Lu
Bianca Weeko Martin
Nikola Miloradovic
Nathan Shakura
Meghan Won


Gwynne Allanford
Filipe Costa
Dima Ghazal
Angie Kwon
Kailey Moulson
Ashley Peebles
Tahir Pervaiz
Julia Richard
Dalia Todary-Michael
Xinyi Zhang

Venice Installation Manager

Davide Tiso

Supported by: Acrylite™, Canada Council for the Arts, Embassy of Canada to Italy, Christie Digital Systems, Gaslight Events Company, HIP Developments, La Biennale de Venezia, Mitacs, Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Stimuleringsfonds, Toronto Arts Council, University of Waterloo. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 824160.

  • Acrylite™
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Embassy of Canada to Italy
  • Chrisite Digital Systems
  • Gaslight Events Company + HIP Developments
  • La Biennale de Venezia
  • Mitacs
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Stimuleringsfonds
  • Toronto Arts Council
  • University of Waterloo School of Architecture
  • European Union Horizon 2020