Keeping the subject of FREESPACE in perspective, the Pakistan Pavilion takes inspiration from the physical and social dimensions of the sparsely open spaces embedded within the many informal settlements of Karachi, the most populated and fastest growing city of Pakistan.


The Pavilion of Pakistan, titled The Fold, explores these ideas of limitation and interdependence, inviting visitors to comprehend FREESPACE as a consequence of unity, mutuality and harmony amidst a restrictive physicality. This makes it simultaneously a global as well as a local phenomenon.

City of Karachi
City of Karachi © Sakina Hassan

Conceptually, it is an abstraction of the verticality, multiplicity, and systematic irregularity characteristic of the physical limitations of informal settlements. The subtle tapering of the profile suggests the tendency of these settlements to rise in synchronization. A gap where the two ends overlap forms a constricted opening leading inside. Once inside, a set of axes animate the space – relying on consensus for activation.

The design and curatorial team for the Pavilion of Pakistan consists of Architects Bilal Kapadia, Mustafa Mehdi and Salman Jawed of the Karachi-based multidisciplinary design practice Coalesce Design Studio, Assistant Professors Durreshahwar Alvi and Sami Chohan (Curator) from the Department of Architecture, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, and Zeba Asad who is a student of architecture at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Asad I. Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners is serving as the Commissioner of the national participation project.

The Pavilion is supported by the Global Art Affairs Foundation and organized by Coalesce Design Studio and Antidote Art & Design.