Workshop: Cinematic Architecture: Venice and Singapore


Cinematic Architecture: Venice and Singapore is jointly presented by the Singapore Pavilion, curated by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Cambridge. The workshop invites up to 12 individuals in each city from Architecture, Art and/or Design to register. Working in small teams of 3 to 4 and using Venice and Singapore as sites of investigation, participants will engage in exercises that utilise moving images and cinematic techniques to uncover key urban and architectural narratives. The simultaneous nature of the workshop across the two cities will ask participants to reflect on the art of future living in the age of globalisation, and pushing to the limit the notion of ‘creative geographies’, it will be the opportunity to imagine new spaces in which we might live together, however remotely. 

No prior knowledge of filmmaking is required, although some experience might prove useful.  In terms of equipment, none will be provided by the Biennale or NUS, and the participants will need to bring their own cameras, smartphones and laptops for editing purposes. 

WORKSHOP THEMES:  observational cinema, city symphonies, montage, everyday street life, spatial ethnography, urban taxonomies, creative geographies, mapping, climate change, local versus global. 

The workshop is free to participants and will run concurrently in the two cities from 17 – 24 September 2021. 

VENUES: Participants will need to be physically present in either Venice or Singapore for the duration of the workshop. In Venice the workshop will be based in the Singapore Pavilion and at the NUS in Singapore.

Observing a Species of Space

City Sinfonietta

Global vs Local


François Penz​

University of Cambridge
Professor of Architecture and the Moving Image

François Penz is Professor of Architecture & the Moving Image and Emeritus Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge.  He has published widely on issues of cinema, architecture and the city, most recently Cinematic Urban Geographies (Palgrave Macmillan 2017) and Cinematic Aided Design: an everyday approach to architecture (Routledge in 2018).  In 2020 he completed an AHRC research project, ‘A cinematic musée imaginaire of spatial cultural differences’ (2017-2020) that expanded many of the ideas developed in his Routledge book applied to other cultures (China and Japan in particular), construing films of everyday life as a revelator of deep spatial cultural differences and similarities.

Simone Shu-Yeng Chung

Department of Architecture (NUS)
Curator, Singapore Pavilion

Simone Shu-Yeng CHUNG is Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. She holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from University of Cambridge and practiced as an architect in London. A former Rome Scholar in Architecture and Japan Foundation Asian Center Fellow, she is also a 2020 CCA Research Fellow. Recently, she co-edited, with Mike Douglass, The Hard State, Soft City of Singapore (2020, Amsterdam University Press).

Liew Kai Khiun

Independent Scholar
(Transnational Cultural Studies in Asia Pacific)

LIEW Kai Khiun is a scholar in the field of Cultural Studies undertaking academic research for close to two decades on transnational popular culture flows between East and Southeast Asia, that includes the Korean Wave, where he is one of the pioneering generation of scholars. Liew’s other areas of research include that of Transmedia development in Asia as well as Media and Culture in Singapore. Prior to his current engagement in the areas of business development, he has served in various academic roles as a Postdoctoral and Teaching Fellow at the National University of Singapore, and an Assistant Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University. Tertiary educational background includes: National University of Singapore (B.A. Hons 2 Upper; MA) and University College London (PhD).

Shireen Marican

Associate, Desire Lines
Curatorial Assistant, Singapore Pavilion

Shireen MARICAN  is an arts manager and researcher motivated to advance the engagement of arts and culture with critical global issues. She graduated with an MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practice from Nanyang Technological University and works with Singaporean arts organisations, artists and creatives to design programmes centred around social issues and strategies that engage with art, culture and heritage. Shireen also lectures in professional practice and exhibition management in LASALLE College of the Arts and was the recipient of the pilot Platform Projects Curatorial Award Singapore in 2020.


Mary Ann NG

Department of Architecture (NUS)
Curatorial Assistant, Singapore Pavilion

Mary Ann NG graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master of Architecture degree from the National University of Singapore in 2018. Both researcher and designer, her interests stem from observations of the contemporary individual, their subsequent emergent lifestyles, online and offline social practices and new cognitive behaviours within the spatial context. She is most recently research assistant under a research project Deciphering the Spatial Rhetorics of the Millennial Nomad (2019-ongoing). 


17 Sep | Friday



18 Sep | Saturday

21 Sep | Tuesday

24 Sep | Friday

Keynote Lecture
Filming Venice & Singapore: A Spatial Ethnographical Approach

by François Penz
University of Cambridge
Professor of Architecture and the Moving Image

Workshop Briefing

Lecture Session: Spatial Types in Local Contexts – Venice and Singapore
The Venetian Townscape
by Deborah Howard
University of Cambridge
Professor Emerita of Architectural History

Singapore Palimpsests
by Johannes Widodo
National University of Singapore
Director of Architectural Conservation Programme

Crit I
Observing a Species of Space – Cinematic Spatial Ethnography

Crit II
City Sinfonietta – Montage City

Final Crits!

  • All workshop facilitators in Venice, Italy and Singapore that have required interactions with participants, are fully vaccinated. 
  • All workshop facilitators, collaborators, speakers and facilitators will follow all COVID-19 laws and regulations as stipulated by the local authorities.
COVID Protocols for Venice, Italy:
  • All participants have a digital EU COVID recognised certificate for entry into Biennale Grounds, if not to issue a negative PCR test every 48 hours.
  • All participants are responsible for all COVID-19 and travel-related costs incurred and must have purchased in-bound insurance to Venice, Italy. 
  • All participants must wear masks and practice safe distancing measures.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed in the workshop venue to minimise risk of transmission. 
  • All participants are also advised to maintain and practice safe distancing measures outside programme hours, for the duration of the workshop. 
  • All participants must follow instructions provided by the Singapore Pavilion’s designated COVID-19 manager.

Latest updates for travellers entering Italy:

To check if you can enter Italy:

COVID Protocols for Singapore:
  • Every participant will need to show vaccinated status (valid status) or show a negative PCR test.
  • All participants must wear masks and practice safe distancing measures. 
  • TraceTogether App or Token is required for SafeEntry check-ins at workshop venues.
  • All participants must wear masks and practice safe distancing measures. 
  • No eating or drinking is allowed within the workshop venue in order to minimise risk of transmission. 
  • All participants are also advised to maintain and practice safe distancing measures outside programme hours, for the duration of the workshop. 
  • We strongly advise workshop participants to minimise social gatherings and interactions with groups of people outside the workshop during this period unless necessary.

For any further inquiries, please email