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QR Codes Cover Every Inch Of Russia's Pavilion At The Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Why build an architectural model of a city when you can simply show it virtually?

Though it lost the coveted Golden Lion for best pavilion to Japan, Russia’s futuristic, QR code-encrusted pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, which opened today, is certainly turning heads. With every inch of the pavilion—floor, ceiling, and walls—covered with giant QR codes, visitors access a virtual exhibition via tablet computers, through which they can explore plans and models for Skolkovo, a Russian city dedicated to science and technology that’s currently under development.


Located near Moscow and scheduled to open sometime in 2017, Skolkovo has its sights set on becoming Russia’s Silicon Valley. In addition to housing developments and a university, the city will host some 500 science and technology companies such as start-ups, IT, biomedical research, nuclear research, energy and space technology.

The QR code pavilion in Venice is a fitting conceptual choice, using cutting edge technology to introduce a futuristic city to a global audience. Something about it has an “emperor’s new clothes” kind of feel to it though—it’s essentially an empty room with some really pretty wall paper. Still, QR codes have probably never looked more visually striking than they do in the photos below.

And here’s some shots of the tablet computers and user interaction:

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