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Open Call: Curate the British Pavilion 2020

Open Call: Curate the British Pavilion 2020

6 December 2018

We have launched the open call for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020. Submit your proposals by 18 February 2019.

Spark debate, offer new perspectives on the issues that matter, create a fresh experience of architecture and show your work to the world. Gather your team, create your vision for the British Pavilion 2020 and submit your proposal by 18 February 2019.

Find out how to apply; click here to visit the British Pavilion website and read on for more information about the open call.

"The British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale aims to create debate that both challenges and influences the future of British architecture. 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."

--Sarah Mann, Commissioner of the British Pavilion 2020 and Director, Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council

The Architecture Design Fashion team commission the British Pavilion exhibition for the Venice Architecture Biennale through an open call process.

The open call is an opportunity for a cross-disciplinary team, headed by a curator, to propose an exhibition that tells a story of contemporary British architecture to an international audience.

We want to see proposals with bold ideas that inspire, challenge and address today’s most relevant questions.

Your proposal should explore contemporary British architectural practice and offer a new way to express and communicate this to a wide international audience. Proposals should be designed to provide a positive, accessible and inclusive visitor experience, and aim to reflect the rich diversity of British culture.

We have launched the open call for the British Pavilion earlier than usual, before the Biennale’s announcement of their lead curator and the central theme for 2020. This is in order to have a longer lead-in time for the exhibition and for new collaborations to form as teams come together. Once the central theme has been announced in 2019, the successful team may decide to adapt or develop their proposal but this is not mandatory.

Who can apply?

We are looking for a diverse team, which must include a curator who will lead the project. The other team members may include architects, researchers, writers, artists, critics, and we also welcome collectives and teams from institutions and organisations. You must nominate a lead applicant for your team.

Applicants do not need to be UK-born, but your team’s lead applicant should currently be a resident or working in the UK and have a strong connection to contemporary British architecture.

The Open Call Process

Proposals will be considered in two stages:

Stage 1: Proposals received by midnight on Monday, 18 February 2019 will be scored against criteria outlined in the open call document on the British Pavilion website.

Stage 2: Up to twelve proposals will be shortlisted and considered by the British Pavilion Selection Committee. The shortlisted teams will be invited for interview and to present their proposals to the Committee on 19 March 2019 in London.

The Architecture Selection Committee includes:

Pooja Agrawal, Co-founder, Public Practice
Eva Franch I Gilabert, Director, Architectural Association School of Architecture
Gabrielle Jenks, Digital Director, Manchester International Festival
Indy Johar, Co-founder, Architecture 00
Alan Jones, RIBA President Elect 2019
Farshid Moussavi, Founder, Farshid Moussavi Architecture
Manon Mollard, Deputy Editor, The Architectural Review
Sarah Mann, Commissioner, British Pavilion; Director, Architecture Design Fashion

About the British Pavilion

The exhibition will be hosted in the British Pavilion, a listed building opened originally as a tea house in 1897 in the Giardini in Venice. The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 1937 and is renowned for commissioning the highest calibre UK artists and architects to present exhibitions and installations at the Pavilion.

Find out more about the British Pavilion and our previous exhibitions: 


Find the open call document and application form on the British Pavilion website here

Review the documents as they give full instruction on the process and how to apply.

We have now published our FAQ for the open call, click here to read them.

Gather your team and submit your proposal by 18 February 2019. We can't wait to hear your ideas!