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João Guarantani

João Guarantani

Acting Director

João joined the ADF team at the beginning of 2014, advising on global projects and running programmes across Architecture, Design and Fashion in the Americas. João has previously led on ADF work in East Asia, and manages major programmes including the Lina Bo Bardi and Rogelio Salmona Fellowships, UK links with international Architecture and Design Biennales and Festivals, and oversees ADF's Residencies and Fellowships.

Since studying for his Graphic Design degree at Central St Martins, João has fostered an interest in the history of design, visual culture and cultural identity. In 2010 João received an MA in Cultural & Critical Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, where he carried out research in Exhibiting Cultures and Aesthetics & Cultural Theory. At the end of 2012, João joined the British Council Arts team in Brazil, where he delivered the Visual Arts and Museums strands of Transform, a four-year culture and creativity platform for exchange between Brazil and the UK.

From 2007 to 2012, João was Curator and Project Manager at Gallery 32, where he led the programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks. Gallery 32's main aim was to promote Brazilian visual culture, with a focus on modern and contemporary art, architecture and design. João has curated a number of design exhibitions, including Brazil Illustrated, and recently commissioned major ADF projects for UKMX, the year of cultural exchange between Mexico and the UK, including the UK Pavilion at Guadalajara Bookfair and Ways of Seeing, an installation by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan. 

To contact João, email: joao(dot)guarantani(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Kendall Robbins

Kendall Robbins

Senior Programme Manager - Crafting Futures

As the global lead for Crafting Futures, Kendall programmes, curates, produces and commissions craft and design projects.  Crafting Futures is British Council’s global programme supporting a sustainable future for craft which is currently active in more than 20 countries. 

Kendall has devised and managed major programmes such as Crafting Futures, Fashion Revolutionaries and Fashion DNA. She has been involved in tens of other major projects and touring exhibitions, working with international partners such as Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Jakarta Fashion Week, Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Riyadh Fashion Days, Skopje Fashion Weekend and many others. 

Kendall started in the British Council’s Architecture, Design and Fashion team in 2011 as Project Assistant, working on projects like the Venice Architecture Biennale and Reconstruction. From 2013 - 2018, Kendall worked as Fashion Programme Manager, leading on the British Council's architecture, design, and fashion work in East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018, Kendall was the Acting Senior Programme Manager for the department and in 2016, she was Acting Director Arts for British Council Bangladesh

Kendall has a BA in Fashion History and Theory from Central Saint Martins, and her interests include fashion futures, emerging fashion and craft economies, climate activism and design, and hot sauce. She has delivered guest lectures on craft and fashion at various institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Museum of Georgia and the Indus Valley School of Art and Design. She has sat on juries such as the Unlimited Emerging Artist Award and Fashion Scout’s Merit Award.

To contact Kendall, email: kendall(dot)robbins(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Hannah Robinson

Hannah Robinson

Programme Manager

Hannah joined the British Council in 2018 to curate, programme and commission international projects across architecture, design and fashion. She is developing global programmes, including Making Matters and Fashion Revolutionaries. Hannah is also the lead for architecture, design and fashion programmes across Sub Saharan Africa.

Previously Art Director at The Future Laboratory, Hannah led a cross-disciplinary team. She devised editorial, film, events and installations that aimed to inspire new possibilities for the intersections of design, technology and the environment. She consulted on design futures and delivered keynotes at global institutions including Dansk Fashion and Textile, as well as guest lecturing at education institutions including RCA and UAL Futures Studio. 

Hannah took a sabbatical in 2014 to study sustainable design and fashion in New York, and completed a residency in Design For Social Change at the School of Visual Arts. Hannah also holds a first class bachelors in Fashion Photography and Styling from the London College of Fashion. Hannah recently worked with a co-operative of female designers in Guatemala and also consulted for Impossible, a sustainable design & innovation incubator.

To contact Hannah, email: hannah(dot)robinson(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Parvinder Marwaha

Parvinder Marwaha

Programme Manager Design

Parvinder joined the British Council in 2018, where she leads on architecture, design and fashion programmes across the EU and South Asia. As design programme manager, she runs Design Connections, our annual delegation programme for museum directors and festival curators from around the globe.

Before moving back to the UK, Parvinder worked in The Netherlands, building a portfolio of work that includes writing, curating and interior architecture. She completed her Masters in Architecture & Urbanism with Distinction at Manchester School of Architecture, as well a first class BA in Architecture and a BArch.

She has published a number of articles on Indian architecture and design, a topic inspired by her background, becoming a regular contributor for Mark Magazine for this region. Parvinder helped found and develop XS Architecture, a platform that exhibits and sells products designed by Dutch architects, including MVRDV and UNStudio. She was also contributor to online platform Failed Architecture and Works That Work. She specialised in designing workspaces for startups, including Growth Tribe and VRBase. She also tutored at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam.

On moving to London, she worked as Creative Producer for architecture practice HASSELL, where her advocacy of equality, diversity and inclusion led to strengthening a partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

To contact Parvinder, email: parvinder(dot)marwaha(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Elena Tamosiunaite

Elena Tamosiunaite

Programme Manager, Architecture

Elena joined the British Council at the beginning of 2018 and leads on architecture, design and fashion programmes across MENA and the Americas while also managing our architecture programme globally, while Gwen Webber is on maternity leave. 

After graduating from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Architecture, Elena completed an MA in Curating Contemporary Design at Kingston University, in partnership with the Design Museum, London. She is interested in interdisciplinary practice between architecture and curating and her postgraduate dissertation focused on examining Architecture Installations as a way to represent architectural ideas.

Prior to joining the British Council, Elena worked as a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Design Museum where she assisted on the exhibitions ‘California: Designing Freedom’ and ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’. She also worked as a Researcher and Acting Project Coordinator for curator Jane Withers working on a number of events and exhibitions with a particular focus on the fields of sustainability and well-being. Elena also completed internships at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and David Gill Gallery, London, and participated in the Venice Fellowship Programme in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

To contact Elena, email: elena(dot)tamosiunaite(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Jessica Mansfield

Jessica Mansfield

Programme Coordinator

Jessica joined ADF in January 2018 to work on the International Fashion Showcase. Previously, Jessica worked as Programme Assistant at London Design Festival, helping to organise around 400 events in over 350 locations and handling partner content for both the guide and website. 

Her previous roles include gallery assistant and exhibition lead at Lights of Soho, artFix and the Mead Gallery, image librarian at the Witt and Conway Libraries at Somerset House, and survey assistant for the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture

After graduating with an Art History BA from the University of Warwick, Jessica completed her MA in Victorian and Edwardian Art at the Courtauld Institute in 2016, writing her dissertation on William Morris. She followed this with a diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics from the Institute of Art Law. 

To contact Jessica, email: jessica(dot)mansfield(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Kate Le Versha

Kate Le Versha

Marketing Manager

Kate joined the British Council in 2016 and works part time as Marketing Manager for the ADF team, while continuing to run her independent communications and brand consultancy.

Based in Somerset House, Kate established ‘Le Versha’ in 2009 and has worked with over 40 brands from the worlds of design, art, fashion, craft and architecture including the Royal Institute of British Architects and many award-winning young studios. From furniture brands inspired by Brutalism, to architecture practices vying for the Young Architect of the Year Award, fine jewellery to embroidered wallpaper, hand blown glass to foundations working in Uganda and Myanmar; Kate is thrilled to support the creative talent she works with. At the British Council, Kate works across all of ADF’s programmes, applying her expertise in strategy, messaging, PR and marketing to projects from the Venice Architecture Biennale to New British Inventors.

After graduating from the University of Cambridge having read English Literature, Kate briefly worked in corporate communications with clients such as M&S, Tesco, Barclays Wealth and Goldman Sachs before striking out independently. 

To contact Kate, email: kate(dot)leversha(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Lucy Swan

Lucy Swan

Marketing Manager

Lucy joined the British Council in January 2019 as Marketing Manager, part time, alongside Kate Le Versha while continuing to work freelance as a creative producer and consultant. 

With a background in production and communications for arts, culture and fashion projects, programmes and organisations, Lucy works with a variety of independent clients to consolidate their ideas within an overlying strategy and bring them to life through the production of films, events, photoshoots and shows. Previous clients include Art Night, Roberta Einer, The Bridge Co, Katie Ann McGuigan, SORT zine and more. At the British Council, Lucy works across all ADF programmes applying her expertise in strategy, concepts, creative and production to create communications campaigns that resonate globally such as Fashion Revolutionaries and the Venice Biennale. 

Currently studying for an MA in Cultural and Critical Theory, Lucy is particularly interested in the intersection where aesthetics meet the social, political and cultural. 

To contact Lucy, email; lucy(dot)swan(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

Laura Broderick

Laura Broderick

Venice Fellowships

Laura started the role of Venice Fellowships Programme Manager at the British Council in April 2017. She works across Architecture Design Fashion and Visual Arts. 

Laura’s interests are based on providing cultural and work-based learning opportunities for students and graduates. Collaborating with professionals from design and education, Laura is an experienced facilitator working to deliver rich learning experiences and outcomes.

An architecture graduate from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Laura has worked in the charity and public sector programming educational events and projects linked to the built environment. She has worked across departments at RIBA, most recently in the London regional team on the student mentoring scheme and managing projects such as Pews & Perches.

On a national level, she has worked with UK schools of architecture and as an educational adviser at CABE, wrote publications for school audiences such as Our school building matters. Previously she worked for the architecture centre, Northern Architecture, delivering an outreach programme across the North East of England. Laura is from Gateshead.

Working with 18 UK partner universities and organisations, Laura now manages the Venice Fellowships programme for the 57 arts students and volunteers on a unique steward-research experience at the British Pavilion in Venice.

Matt Payne

Matt Payne

Senior Project Manager, Venice

Matt joined the British Council in 2019 to project manage the British Pavilion exhibitions at the Art and Achitecture Biennale in Venice.

Matt previously worked for Nesta, delivering a global innovation skills programme for creative hub leaders in partnership with the British Council and Hivos.

He has experience of delivering major exhibitions at the British Museum (Sicily: Culture and Conquest, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave and Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece) and led a review of programming and exhibition development to diversify the paid-for and free entry offers as part of the Museum’s Forward Plan.

Matt has a background in strategic project delivery in central and local government, leading a major campaign in London to increase participation in the 2011 Census, implementing social cohesion policy following the 2001 disturbances in Northern cities; merging waste and recycling services in two London Boroughs and developing contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.

Güte Immelman

Güte Immelman

Team Assistant

Güte joined the British Council in May 2019 and works as the Architecture Design Fashion Team Assistant supporting all the aspects and being the first point of contact for the team. She has a background in both graphic design and curation and arts management.

She recently relocated to London from Cape Town, South Africa, where she formed part of the startup team of Norval Foundation, a centre for international Modern and Contemporary art and culture. A highlight was her curatorial assistance with Pulling at Threads, a group exhibition that considered the role of craft in contemporary artistic practice.

Güte practised as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator in Johannesburg before crossing over to the art world in 2015, where she joined David Krut Projects as a Gallery Assistant. With locations in South Africa and New York, this organisation specialises in editioned works on paper and art publications. At the Cape Town branch, she co-organised exhibitions and events, ranging from children’s book readings and zine talks, to art fairs.

To supplement her degree in Graphic Design, Güte completed an Honours in Curatorship at the University of Cape Town in 2017, where she explored Relational Aesthetics and notions around creating collaboratively.

To contact Güte, email: gute(dot)immelman(at)britishcouncil(dot)org