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"Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture" opens at Venice Biennale
The Sambódromo in Rio de Janeiro, aberrant architecture.

VENICE.- The British Council presents Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture, in the British Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, which runs 29 August – 25 November 2012.

Venice Takeaway, curated by Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council and Vanessa Norwood, Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association, aims not simply to showcase talent from the UK, but to provoke a debate about the path that British architecture has taken during a time of flux. Reflecting the theme of ‘Common Ground’ set by Director David Chipperfield, Venice Takeaway demonstrates the potential of sharing ideas across borders and finding new ways to respond to the challenges of the relationships, policies and structures that surround architecture.

Focusing on a group of exciting architectural talents, selected in open competition across the UK, the British Pavilion is infused with fresh ideas, taking direct inspiration from research in ten countries across the world: Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand and the USA.

The featured projects are:

• aberrant architecture, who travelled to Rio de Janeiro to investigate CIEPs, a radical education programme and a series of prefabricated primary schools designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

• Smout Allen and BLDGBLOG, whose research focused on the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles, an institution dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge about land use.

• Ross Anderson and Anna Gibb, who went to Moscow to investigate the ‘Paper Architects’, a loose collective formed in the 1980s in response to state restrictions on their ability to build.

• Darryl Chen, who looked at parallels between the UK and China via a study of a pocket of informality, Caochangdi, a village on Beijing’s Fifth Road.

• dRMM who studied IJburg, a floating community that has thrived under an advanced culture of planning, procurement and design, to the east of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

• Forum for Alternative Belfast who went to Berlin to investigate the International Bauausstellung 1987 (IBA 1987), an ambitious and visionary urban renewal project involving international architects.

• public works, Urban Projects Bureau and Owen Pritchard who formed a team to develop an ongoing discussion on the role and image of the architect through a new open charter.

• Elias Redstone who investigated Fideicomiso in Argentina, a legal trust which enables architects to fund their own projects.

• Liam Ross and Tolulope Onabolu, who travelled to Lagos to embark on a comparative study of risk and regulation and their impact on design.

• Takero Shimazaki /Toh Shimazaki Architecture whose investigation focuses on the work of Itsuko Hasegawa in several locations around Japan, and explores the way her architecture combines a belief in people with abstraction.

Following its run in Venice, the exhibition will go on show in London at the RIBA from 25 February – 27 April 2013. This will be the first time that the exhibition in the British Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale has transferred to London.

Vicky Richardson, Commissioner of the British Pavilion and Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council, said: “Venice Takeaway presents a set of clear intentions that we hope will be pursued beyond the life of the exhibition. It is a reminder that the practice of architecture is as much about observation and thinking as it is about design, and we aim to stimulate a genuine dialogue and debate between the architectural community and the general public that will run on as the show transfers to London in 2013.”

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