Open call: British Council seeks collaborative team for Architecture Biennale 2025

The 2023 British Pavilion installation, Dancing Before the Moon

British Council looking to appoint Kenyan architectural practitioners to join UK peers to form collaborative team

This landmark collaboration exemplifies British Council’s commitment to cultural exchange, celebrating the connections between Kenya and the UK and celebrating innovation”

— Tom Porter, Country Director Kenya, British Council

NAIROBI, KENYA, November 15, 2023 / — Open call: British Council seeks collaborative team for Architecture Biennale 2025

British Council looking to appoint UK-Kenya architectural practitioner team

The British Council commission at the Venice Architecture Biennale aims to create debate that both challenges and influences the future of British and global architecture.

The Venice Biennale, held annually from May to November, alternates between focusing on art and architecture. Its rich history dates back to 1895, and it currently draws in half a million visitors annually. This dynamic event serves as a platform for celebrating art and architecture, delving into themes of politics, and addressing contemporary cultural and social issues through captivating performances, innovative sculptures, and thought-provoking installations.

The 2023 exhibition, Dancing Before the Moon, was awarded a Special Mention for National Participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Tom Porter, Country Director Kenya, British Council, said: “This landmark collaboration exemplifies British Council’s commitment to cultural exchange, celebrating the connections between Kenya and the UK and celebrating innovation”

Sevra Davis, Director of Architecture Design and Fashion, British Council, said: “Exhibiting at the British Pavilion is an exciting and prestigious opportunity for architects and creative professionals to explore ideas, challenges and opportunities affecting the built environment in the UK and around the world. This year, we are excited to be encouraging collaboration between the UK and Kenya to explore the connection between these two countries and to promote working collectively. We actively encourage a wide range of courageous and innovative proposals from architectural practitioners from around the UK.”

Now looking ahead to 2025, the 19th International Architecture Exhibition Venice Biennale continues to present a remarkable opportunity to demonstrate the UK’s strength in cross-cultural collaboration, architecture and architectural thinking.

Open call

• The British Council now seeks to appoint a collaborative UK-Kenya architectural practitioner team to develop and deliver an exhibition in the British Pavilion in Venice

The practitioner team can consist of architects, exhibition designers, curators, educators, researchers, or have another design or built environment background, but they must be experienced in exhibition development and delivery

• The 2025 British Pavilion exhibition will be a high-profile installation as part of a British Council year of collaboration between the UK and Kenya which will foster, celebrate and showcase the connections between the two countries

• The British Council particularly welcomes proposals from practitioner teams where the UK partner is based outside of Greater London in England or based in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland

• The team will be looking for proposals which inspire new perspectives in contemporary architecture and the role of the built environment in addressing global challenges

• The successful proposal will put forward a compelling narrative, present a clear exhibition design concept and can be delivered within the agreed budget.

• The proposal for the British Council Commission must demonstrate and communicate the concept with impact and clarity and have the flexibility to be experienced both physically and digitally by a global and diverse audience

• The closing date for the open call will be 5 January 2024 at 23:59 GMT

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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022–23 we reached 600 million people.

Please note, as per Lesley Lokko’s wording as the curator for the Architecture Biennale 2023, the word ‘practitioners’ has been used in this open call rather than ‘architects’ and/or ‘designers’ to encourage different and broader understanding of the term architect.

Janet Ndugire
British Council
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