22 March 2018
by Gian Luca Amadei
The Royal Academy of Arts is one of the six organisations awarded the British Council Art Connects Us research grant, which supports our vision to develop stronger creative sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and connections with the UK.
Kate Goodwin is leading on the Royal College of Art research project, focusing on South Africa. Find out more about her work and her ambitions with this opportunity to connect the UK with South Africa's architecture scene.
Please tell us about you and your work.
Having studied architecture at Sydney University I had the opportunity to come to the UK and found a role at the Royal Academy of Arts that has led me on a fascinating path I couldn’t have anticipated. I am now head of the relatively recently formed Architecture Department and over the years have been responsible for event programming, curating exhibitions and commissioning performances and installations. I am now overseeing the expansion of the RA’s architecture activities as we open new spaces designed by David Chipperfield in May this year. I am also putting together a performative event and symposium on architectural experience in April and curating an exhibition on Renzo Piano that opens in September.
Why did you apply for Arts Connects Us?
I was keen to pursue some of my interests in more depth and expand the context in which I do so. I hope to be challenged, surprised and enriched by the experience.
Where are you going and what are you researching?
I am starting in South Africa then hopefully travelling to Mozambique and Botswana to meet architects of different generations, see their work and to explore what generosity in architecture means to them. I intend to question the relationship between benefactor and recipient, of the role of the architect and explore how individually and collectively, architecture is experienced, inhabited and appropriated.
What are you looking forward to most about your trip?
The opportunity to have some focused time and mental space to explore ideas, to see new things and meet new people. My approach to research is to follow an instinctual sense of purpose, but not necessarily having a preconceived outcome in mind. I would like to take the opportunity to pursue paths that emerge in the process of discovery – to set things in motion and see where they take me – aware that some will be more fruitful or resonant than others but all valuable in their own right. The process will hopefully disrupt some of my own preconceived ideas of what it means to be generous. It is a chance to be curious and I am excited to meet new people, see new things and embark on conversations that will take me somewhere. I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences on Instagram and on my blog.