The Venice Architecture Biennale was established in 1980 and is the foremost global forum for Architectural exhibition and debate. It runs every second year and attracts over 260,000 visitors during the six month long event, as well as widespread international media coverage. It is the most significant point of reference for the world of architecture. In 2016 65 countries staged national pavilions, and Ireland has participated with a national pavilion on the last nine occasions (2000–2016).
The Biennale provides an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase new projects, ideas and approaches, arranged in different pavilions, each with different themes. Irish participation in the Biennale has contributed directly to the growing international profile of Irish architecture. The exhibition will take place from 26 May to 25 November 2018 in Venice. Free Market will subsequently tour in Ireland in 2019.