British Council calls for entries for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020
British Council calls for entries that spark debate for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020

British Council calls for entries that spark debate for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020

Dezeen promotion: the British Council has launched an open call for proposals to exhibit in the British Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2020.

The UK's international organisation for cultural relations, which commissions the British Pavilion for both the art and the architecture biennales, is looking for entries that will spark debate.

The callout specifies "bold ideas that inspire, challenge and address today's most relevant questions", but that also tell "a story of contemporary British architecture to an international audience".

Diverse, cross-disciplinary teams are encouraged, and proposals are expected to explore the practice of contemporary British architecture.

The British Council asks for "a positive, accessible and inclusive visitor experience" that can "reflect the rich diversity of British culture".

British Council calls for entries that spark debate for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020
This year, Caruso St John and Marcus Taylor built a rooftop "island" in response to Brexit

"The British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale aims to create debate that both challenges and influences the future of British architecture," said Sarah Mann, commissioner of the British Pavilion 2020.

"The open call is an opportunity for us to hear from the UK architecture sector about contemporary British practice and the issues that matter most."

Originally opened in 1897 as a tea house in Venice's Giardini, the British Pavilion has been the responsibility of the British Council since the biennale began in 1937.

The pavilion received a special mention from the biennale judges this year, when Caruso St John Architects and Marcus Taylor left the building empty and built a large platform over the roof.

Other past exhibitions include a show by FAT that brought together postwar towns and pop culture, and a show called Home Economics, which called for architects to develop new models for housing.

British Council calls for entries that spark debate for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020
In 2016, the Home Economics exhibition called for architects to redesign home ownership rather than houses

Entrants have until 18 February 2019 to submit their proposals.

Teams should be a mix of architects, researchers, writers, artists and critics, led by a curator, along with a nominated lead applicant. Collectives and teams from organisations and institutions are welcome to apply.

Applicants do not have to have been born in the UK, but each team's lead applicant should be either a resident or working in the country, and have a strong connection to British architecture.

Entries received by midnight on that date will be scored against criteria outlined in the open call document. Up to 12 shortlisted proposals will be put to the British Pavilion Selection Committee, and shortlisted teams will be invited to be interviewed by the committee on 19 March 2019.

British Council calls for entries that spark debate for Venice Architecture Biennale 2020
In 2014, FAT brought together postwar towns and pop culture

On this year's committee are Pooja Agrawal, co-founder of Public Practice; the new AA director Eva Franch I Gilabert; co-founder of Architecture 00 Indy Johar; Alan Jones, RIBA president elect 2019; Farshid Moussavi, founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture; Gabrielle Jenks, digital director for the Manchester International Festival; and architecture and design critic for the Guardian 
Oliver Wainwright.

Mann, who is also the architecture design fashion 

director for the British Council, will chair the committee.

The call for UK entries has gone out earlier this year, before the curator and their central theme has been announced by the biennale. The British Council said this was to allow a longer lead time for the teams to collaborate. Once the main biennale theme is announced, entrants will be able to develop their proposals should they wish.

For more information about the open call and how to enter, visit the British Council's website.