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Venice Takeaway: British Council call for participation for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale

The British Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale will be the culmination of Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture. By discovering the best ideas from around the world the British Pavilion intends to make an original contribution to the debate about architecture in the UK. Venice Takeaway will build on the UK’s history of looking to the rest of the world for inspiration and ideas. The Pavilion will provide an injection of new ideas based on the collective global research of architects, students, writers, critics and academics. This will focus on what – and who – makes great architecture; considering issues such as construction, housing, planning, culture, education, procurement, architectural competitions and the role of the client.

‘We have many good designers in the UK, but the systems and structures surrounding architecture need change. Everyone who has travelled will recognise the feeling of envy when you see a good idea. The British Pavilion aims to gather the best of these and bring them back to the UK.’ Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion at the British Council

On 10 January 2012 an open call for participation and proposals will be launched; and a series of discussions about the brief will be held across the UK aimed at involving a wide-range of contributors. In March the best proposals will be selected and around ten individuals or teams will travel to unearth case studies in locations around the world.

Each ‘Explorer’ will conduct interviews and uncover how, and why something works. Explorers will be tasked with bringing back material including film, photography, writing and drawing. The exhibition will tell their stories and make a series of proposals for changing British architecture.


London. Tuesday 10 January, 6-7.30pm. Architectural Association, The New Soft Room, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES

Edinburgh. Thursday 12 January. Playfair Library Hall, Old College, University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL

Cardiff. Wednesday 18 January, 6-7.30pm. Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Castle Grounds, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3ER

Belfast. Thursday 19 January, 5.30-7pm. PLACE. 40 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE

Venice Takeaway is curated by Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion at the British Council and Vanessa Norwood, Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association.

British Council Advisory Panel: Chair: Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion at the British Council; David Anderson, Director General of the National Museum Wales; Ian Gilzean, Chief Architect, Scottish Executive; Penny Lewis, Course leader, Masters in Architecture, Robert Gordon University School of Architecture; Ciaran Mackel, Architect, Ard Mackel Architects; Fred Scott, Author, On Altering Architecture; Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture and AA Publications; Finn Williams, Founder of Common Office and Deputy Leader of Placemaking Team at Croydon Council


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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