The initiative emerges against the backdrop of the Venice Biennale in Italy. Alternating every year between Art and Architecture, the exhibition and festival has established a global reputation. The theme of the 2018 edition, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, was ‘FREESPACE’, chosen to describe “a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda”.

Discussion around space is critical within an African context.

The submission for a Biennale pavilion by Talia Productions (SA), GAPP (SA),  DesignSpaceAfrica (SA), Zuecca Projects (IT), Ambiente (IT)  and INSTINCT (UK) formed the initial inspiration for this initiative. Due to South Africa’s absence from the Biennale, #FREESPACE is partly a South African response as it creates an entry point and platform for open engagement, enabling a free space for provocation and expression.


#FREESPACE is a project of INSTINCT, undertaken for V&A Waterfront, in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA and the African Centre for Cities at UCT, with additional support of various donors.

INSTINCT is an international architecture-led interdisciplinary design practice, based in London, UK.