It is inviting submissions from collaborative UK-Kenya practitioner teams featuring architects, exhibition designers, curators, educators, researchers or other disciplines. The open call aims to demonstrate the UK’s ‘strength in cross-cultural collaboration, architecture and architectural thinking’.
The installation within the pavilion at the centre of the Venice Giardini will be the centrepiece of a special British Council year of collaboration between the UK and Kenya, expected to ‘foster, celebrate and showcase the connections between the two countries’.
Applicants must be ‘experienced in exhibition development and delivery’ and the council wants to encourage teams where the UK partner is based outside of London.
Submissions must also include a compelling narrative, present a clear exhibition design concept and be deliverable within the project budget.
The council is also hoping for proposals that ‘inspire new perspectives in contemporary architecture and the role of the built environment in addressing global challenges’.
Sevra Davis, director of Architecture Design and Fashion at the 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 all around the UK.’
The selection committee has yet to be announced.
This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale was curated by the Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko. The main exhibitions included 89 participants, including more than half from Africa or the African diaspora.
For the third time, the hunt for the British Pavilion team has been launched prior to the announcement of the lead curator and central theme for the next biennale. The winning team will have the opportunity to respond to the theme for the 19th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2025 after it is announced.
The British Pavilion installation for this year’s Venice Biennale, Dancing Before the Moon, focused on how customs and traditions shape public space and was curated by JA Projects founding director Jayden Ali; Joseph Henry, co-founder of Sound Advice; Meneesha Kellay, contemporary programme curator at the V&A; and Sumitra Upham, head of public programmes at the Crafts Council.
Sevra Davis, director Architecture, Design & Fashion at the British Council
Why is the open call for the 2025 British Pavilion worth applying for?
The British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale aims to create debate that both challenges and influences the future of British architecture and speaks to the future of the practice around the world. The Biennale in Venice is not only the most important global showcase of innovative thinking, but also a chance to connect with creative practitioners from around the world and build connection. The appointed team will represent the UK and be part of a global dialogue about the future of architecture, the wider built environment and our collective future.
What is your vision for the pavilion and how will the winning team be supported to deliver it?
The 2025 British Pavilion exhibition will be a high-profile installation as part of a British Council focus year of collaboration between the UK and Kenya, which will foster, celebrate and showcase the connections between the two countries. The British Council will work closely with the appointed team to support them to deliver their vision of an exhibition that creates debate that both challenges and influences the future of British and global architecture.
Who would you like to see step forward for this unique opportunity?
The British Council runs an open call because we feel it is important to be as open as possible, allowing diverse practitioner teams from all around the UK to share their ideas and have the opportunity to showcase their thinking on the global Biennale platform. Teams may include architects, but also exhibition designers, researchers, educators, curators and more. As always, but it is worth emphasising, we particularly welcome proposals from practitioner teams where the UK partner is based outside of Greater London.