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British Pavilion; The Garden of Privatised Delights

Garden of Delights by Madeleine Kessler and Manijeh Verghese

3 March 2020

As the Biennale Architettura has been postponed, this year’s British Pavilion exhibition, The Garden of Privatised Delights, is now due to take place in Venice from 29 August – 29 November 2020.

We will continue to monitor the situation and liaise closely with the exhibition curators Madeleine Kessler and Manijeh Verghese and our partners on the next steps. The health of our visitors, students, customers and colleagues is the British Council’s priority throughout this rapidly evolving situation.
Visit La Biennale website for more information here.

The British Council presents The Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Manijeh Verghese and Madeleine Kessler, the curators for the British Pavilion 2020, invite us to engage in the debate around the privatisation of public space in Britain today; from the pub to the playground, common land to the garden square, the high street to facial recognition technology.

Taking inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, the immersive exhibition will pose questions and offer ways forward to challenges such as how to make better use of urban green spaces and how can the local pub be repurposed to serve the wider community.

Together, with five teams of architects, designers and researchers, selected by Manijeh and Madeleine as part of their practice; Unscene Architecture, will present The Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion to highlight the threats to public space, propose new ideas for ownership and greater access and demonstrate the role that design and architecture can take in supporting the future of public space. 

Each room within the British Pavilion will present a new model for the future of public space through an immersive installation, designed to engage us in the debate. We'll be introducing each concept through a carefully commissioned film featuring each designer expanding on the ideation of their concept. To kick things off, we have our curators discussing whether we could open up and reprogramme exclusive garden squares to create more public outdoor space. 

Visit the British Pavilion website to find out more.