Sevra Davis became the Director for Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council in November 2019.
Sevra is an experienced designer, design advocate and leader in design for social innovation. Sevra studied architecture and urban design and worked in professional practice for over ten years in the US, the UK and Finland before moving to roles focused on design enabling. Most recently, she was Head of Learning at the Design Museum.
Before joining the museum, she was Director of Design at the RSA where she developed design research and design education programmes focused on design for positive social, environmental and economic impact. She has worked on a number of projects exploring and promoting the journey toward a more sustainable future and a circular economy. At the RSA, she also oversaw the annual RSA Student Design Awards programme, including its global expansion, more than doubling its income and the programme's breadth and profile.
She speaks and writes frequently about the role of design in an increasingly complex world and in April 2018 co-authored a report for Innovate UK titled ‘Unlocking the creative potential of 21st century industry.’
Sevra has degrees from Yale University, Aalto University and the Architectural Association School of Architecture.
To contact Sevra, email: sevra(dot)davis(at)britishcouncil(dot)org
Senior Programme Manager
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
Global Programme Manager, Crafting Futures
Katia is the Senior Programme Manager for Crafting Futures, our global programme supporting the future of craft around the globe.
Since graduating with a degree in furniture making and product design from Edinburgh College of Art, Katia has spent more than a decade supporting hundreds of emerging designers and craft makers in setting up their creative businesses.
Katia is an experienced creative programme and project manager with a track record in exciting partnership development, talent development and an enormous passion for equality and diversity.
Katia has worked for a variety of arts and craft development organisations in the UK and internationally, including Arts Council England, Craft Northern Ireland, Matadero Madrid in Spain and the Crafts Council.
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.
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.
Programme Manager, Architecture
Gwen manages the team's work in architecture around the globe, and is responsible for our work in the Middle East and North Africa.
Gwen is interested in urban and cultural production and dissemination. Her work on architecture and design festivals, writing on cities and design and academic pursuits in architecture is testament to this. In 2016 she was project manager of the British Pavilion exhibition Home Economics for the Venice Architecture Biennale and established the Venice Fellowships programme.
Prior to this, Gwen was producer of the RIBA 2015 Windows Project and a freelance writer for international and national design and architecture journals including Blueprint, AR and The Architect's Newspaper. She studied Architecture at Nottingham and received an MA in Architecture History at the Bartlett, UCL. In 2013, she wrote Studio Tilt’s first book on participatory practice, Co-Design: A Primer (Black Dog).
While living in New York, Gwen became interested in the influential work of Soho artists and their impact on the city’s development. Her research on the intersection between art and architecture led her to VoCA, where she coordinated programmes focused on oral history as a tool for the conservation of contemporary public art. Her interest in ideas and development of urban design and material and visual culture underpins her work at the British Council.
To contact Gwen, email: gwen(dot)webber(at)britishcouncil(dot)org
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 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 also recently consulted for Impossible, a sustainable design & innovation incubator.
To contact Hannah, email: hannah(dot)robinson(at)britishcouncil(dot)org
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
Kate Le Versha
Kate joined the British Council in 2016 and works part time as Marketing Manager, alongside Lucy Swan, for the ADF team, while continuing to run her independent communications and brand consultancy for the design sector.
Kate manages the marketing for ADF's programme alongside Lucy Swan. She led the campaigns for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennales in 2016 and the award-winning ISLAND installation in 2018. She is currently managing the global campaigns for Crafting Futures, the team's craft programme active in over 20 countries, the Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion at the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale, the British Council's partnership with the Royal Academy's Architecture Awards and supports the team's portfolio of regional projects and international residencies.
Since 2009, Kate has also worked with over 40 brands from the worlds of design, art, fashion, craft and architecture, including the Crafts Council, Royal Institute of British Architects and many award-winning young studios, makers and designers.
Kate read English at the University of Cambridge and is currently working towards a Masters at the University of Oxford.
To contact Kate, email: kate(dot)leversha(at)britishcouncil(dot)org
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
Elena joined the British Council at the beginning of 2018 and works across the team's programme, supporting our international projects around the globe.
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. From March 2019 until February 2020 Elena was working as an Acting Architecture Programme Manager ADF.
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
Güte joined the British Council in May 2019 and works as the Architecture Design Fashion Programme Coordinator supporting all the aspects of the team's international programme. 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