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Cranbrook Alum Simon Anton Featured in US Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale

May 18th, 2023

Simon Anton, After the Federal Reserve, 2023, plastic and steel (Courtesy Simon Anton)

Cranbrook Academy of Art is proud to announce that Simon Anton (MFA 3D Design 2020), co-founder of manufacturing studio ThingThing, has been selected to showcase his work at the prestigious 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Biennale is one of the most anticipated events in the architecture world, featuring groundbreaking projects from around the globe. Everlasting Plastics in the US Pavilion will be on view in Venice through November 26. The show features site-specific works by five American artists and designers, including Anton, that explore plastic as a single, enduring material with infinite form​s​.

Simon Anton, ‘This Will Kill____That,’ 2023, Recycled plastic waste, steel. ‘Everlasting Plastics,’ United States Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2023. Photo by ReportArch / Andrea Ferro Photography

Anton’s inclusion in the exhibition is a testament to his talent and innovative approach to architecture and design. His work, characterized by a fusion of sustainable design principles and futuristic aesthetics, has garnered attention and critical acclaim.

In an interview with CAN Journal, Anton discussed his participation in the biennale and the conceptual underpinnings of his installation. Anton’s site-specific installation is concerned with architectural ornamentation, focusing on different points in architectural history. He explores new methods of working with plastic through a process of making metal sculptures and then grafting plastic onto those frameworks. Of the process, Anton said, “The Biennale environment provided a rich architectural pedestal to explore ornamentation at different points in architectural history while simultaneously talking about a very contemporary and future-affecting problem of plastic waste.”

This year, the US Pavilion’s exhibition is organized by Spaces, a non-profit gallery in Cleveland, and it will be accompanied by a publication, Sketches On Everlasting Plastics, created in partnership with Columbia Books on Architecture and the City to provide references for understanding the exhibition as well as expanding the material beyond the scope of the US Pavilion.

As the opening of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale approaches, ArchPaper.com conducted an interview with the curators of the American Pavilion. They spoke of their excitement about the diverse range of projects and the opportunity to highlight the visionary work of Simon Anton and other talented architects.

Simon Anton’s achievements extend beyond his selection for the Venice Biennale. He has previously exhibited his work at renowned galleries and institutions such as the Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennale, Expo Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, showcasing his ability to merge sustainable design principles with cutting-edge aesthetics. In 2021, Anton and ThingThing were among the winner of the Knight Foundation Challenge, to create Transforming Trash, an educational design program where young Detroiters will grow their design skills and transform community plastic waste into art.

In addition to his artistic practice, Anton is co-founder of Got Grief House, an organization that supports Detroit area children, teens, and adults experiencing grief.


Learn more:

About the Exhibition, Events, Programs, etc. – Everlastingplastics.org

designers highlight our dependency on ‘everlasting plastics’ at US pavilion in venice – designboom

Meet The US Artists of the 2023 Venice Biennale Architecttura – CAN Journal

Ahead of the opening of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, AN speaks with the curators of the American Pavilion – The Architect’s Newpaper

Spaces savors days of triumph as organizer of U.S. exhibition at 2023 Architecture Biennale in Venice – Cleveland.com

Everlasting Plastics – e-flux


3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art