MOS
The husband-and-wife team splits duties between teaching at Harvard and Yale and overseeing pieces that live in the sweet spot between art and architecture. Evidence: They envisioned an outdoor venue in the West Texas desert that merged a 53-foot-tall movie screen with a band shell, all constructed of water-jet-cut steel plates. And it won them the 2009 Progressive Architecture award . Here's a sneak peak at their Biennale contribution.
Headquarters: New Haven, Connecticut
Founding date: 2003
Principals: Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith
U.S. projects:
"Urban Battery" installation for the exhibition Flip a Strip: New Ideas for Old Strip Malls at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
"Afterparty" temporary pavilion at MoMA/P.S.1, New York City (pictured above)
The installation "SoftCell" at Design Life Now: National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City


Aranda\Lasch
Another firm from this new generation of freewheelers, the duo ebbs and flows between the built environment, industrial design, even filmmaking.
Headquarters: New York City
Founding date: 2003
Principals: Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch
U.S. projects:
"Rules of Six," an installation for the exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind at MoMA, New York City
Assorted furniture for Johnson Trading Gallery, New York City
Temporary pavilion for the 2008 Design Miami design fair, Miami (pictured above)

THE NON-ARCHITECTS


Tom Sachs
Before he made it big, this sculptor—known for playing with our notions of violence and consumerism via readymade you-name-it ("Hermès Hand Grenade," "Chanel Guillotine," a bronze cast of Hello Kitty)—was schooled at the Architectural Association in London and at Frank Gehry's own Los Angeles furniture shop.
Headquarters: New York City
Founding date: 1990
U.S. shows:
The installations "Space Program" (pictured above) and "Salt the Fries" at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
The exhibition Cameras at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut
The exhibition Logjam at Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines


Wim Wenders
The German filmmaker has fictionalized America for years, but he's also tackled documentaries, Buena Vista Social Club most notably, plus the new If Buildings Could Talk, a film and 3D video installation about SANAA's Rolex Learning Center (pictured above) in Lausanne, Switzerland, which debuts at this year's Biennale.
Headquarters: Los Angeles and Berlin
Founding date: 1971
U.S.-located films:
Paris, Texas
The End of Violence
The Million Dollar Hotel


Walter Niedermayr
With his signature multi-panel, large-scale landscapes—mostly mountain scenes—the photographer has developed an aesthetic that lends itself to gallery walls and ethereal coffee-table books, hence the 2007 architectural tome Walter Niedermayr / Kazuyo Sejima + RyueNishizawa / SANAA. He's got a reputation in Europe already. We'd love to see what he could do with our Tetons or Appalachians.
Headquarters: Bolzano, Italy
U.S. shows and galleries:
"Schnalstalgletscher V" for the exhibition Public Record at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Represented by Robert Miller Gallery, New York City, and Angles Gallery, Los Angeles

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