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Newsletter May 2014
Back of the Envelope

Welcome to your May newsletter from the Architecture, Design, Fashion department at the British Council.

It’s a busy month as we gear up for both the Venice Biennale and London Festival of Architecture in June, and see Alchemy return to the Southbank for its fifth year this weekend. We also announce the major international tour of a new exhibition of work by Thomas Heatherwick, which will travel to East Asia from early 2015. A new funding opportunity with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is also now open for applications, and offers a series of overseas Travelling Fellowships for Designers.

Best wishes,

The ADF team - Vicky Richardson, João Guarantani, Kendall Robbins, Niamh Tuft, Alastair Donald, Harriet Seabourne, Hannah Burgess, Gian Luca Amadei, Mel Spencer, Ella Reynolds and Ellie Smith.

Go to section A Clockwork Jerusalem
Go to section Is there such a thing as national architecture?
Go to section International Residencies for LFA 2014
Go to section Alchemy Festival
Go to section Thomas Heatherwick Exhibition
Go to section Open Call for Applications: Winston Churchill Fellowships
Go to section What's on in the UK
Go to section Stay Connected
Venice Biennale 2014
A Clockwork Jerusalem

The Venice Biennale begins in just a few weeks, and will be open to the public from 7 June to 23 November 2014, with preview days on the 5 and 6 June. This year’s exhibition for the British Pavilion is called A Clockwork Jerusalem, and has been curated by FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians. Exploring how the international influences of Modernism became mixed with long standing British sensibilities, it examines how traditions of the romantic, sublime and pastoral, as well as interests in technology and science fiction were absorbed to create a specifically British form of Modernism.

Click here for more information about the exhibition, the Vernissage opening, practical visiting info, and details of events in both Venice and London this June.

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Talks at the British Pavilion
Is there such a thing as national architecture?
Is there such a thing as national architecture?, ORDOS MUSEUM BY MAD ARCHITECTS. PHOTO: IWAN BAAN

Organised in partnership with Phaidon Press, this special event at the British Pavilion in Venice will explore whether, in an age of worldwide markets, universal techniques, intercontinental travel and transnational telecommunications, we can still argue for architecture’s regional provenance. Stephan Petermann (OMA), Ma Yansong (MAD architects) and Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architects) will discuss whether contemporary architecture should pursue national forms or revel in a globalised culture. Phaidon Press invite you to trial the new interactive Atlas of Architecture - an innovative digital platform for discovery, inspiration and learning for the global architecture community.

This event is free to attend, but space is limited. Please click here for full details and information of other events taking place during the Biennale Vernissage.

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International Residencies for LFA 2014
International Residencies for LFA 2014, Balfron Tower. Photo Hannah Burgess
Balfron Tower. Photo Hannah Burgess

The London Festival of Architecture returns for 2014, and this year takes ‘Capital' as its central theme. The month long festival programme for June is now live and includes an international component organized by the British Council in the form of the International Architecture Showcase. This year architects from Austria, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Iran, Nigeria, South Africa, Taiwan and Uganda will travel to London to collaborate with a number of London based practices, researching the history and developing ideas for the East London area of Poplar.

Join us on 21 June for a series of celebratory events taking place in Ernö Goldfinger’s iconic Balfron Tower and across Poplar, including walking tours, film screenings, talks and presentation of ideas explored as part of the Residences.

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At Home
Alchemy Festival
Alchemy Festival, Sign Painting with Painter Shabbu and Hanif Kureshi
Sign Painting with Painter Shabbu and Hanif Kureshi

We have been working closely with the Southbank Centre developing this year's programme for Alchemy, the annual festival showcasing the best of music, dance, literature, comedy, fashion, art and design from the UK and South Asia. This is the fourth year the British Council has worked with Southbank Centre during Alchemy and marks a ‘design takeover’ of the festival, with a range of exciting work in South Asian typography, interactive installations, a debate on future cities, and a Citizens Archive of Pakistan. The festival runs from 15 - 26 May 2014, all events are public and many are free. Come along and see us this weekend!

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East Asia
Thomas Heatherwick Exhibition
Thomas Heatherwick Exhibition, Garden Bridge by Heatherwick Studio. Image: ARUP
Garden Bridge by Heatherwick Studio. Image: ARUP

We are pleased to announce that, in collaboration with FCO, UKTI, Cabinet Office and VisitBritain, and with the support of the GREAT Britain campaign, we're currently working with one of the UK’s most widely-recognised designers, Thomas Heatherwick, to develop an exhibition showcasing the development of his studio’s work; from the design of small-scale objects and structures to larger scale architectural projects and urban master plans. This major international tour starting in early 2015 is planned to travel to Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai.

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International Oppurtunity
Open Call for Applications: Winston Churchill Fellowships
Open Call for Applications: Winston Churchill Fellowships,

Applications are now open for the 2015 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships, which for the first time include a strand for Designers working in Architecture, Interiors, Product and Graphic Design. The Fellowships are run in partnership with the British Council and awarded for projects that add to international collaboration and understanding, and also bring back knowledge and best practice for the benefit of others in the UK. Successful applicants will also be able to apply to the ADF department for a follow up grant to help with events, exhibitions and further international collaboration.

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At Home
What's on in the UK
What's on in the UK, Ad campaign for the Tribute to Frida Kahlo collection, Women's prêt-à-porter spring/summer 1998; art direction by Jean Paul Gaultier and illustration by Fred Langlais
Ad campaign for the Tribute to Frida Kahlo collection, Women's prêt-à-porter spring/summer 1998; art direction by Jean Paul Gaultier and illustration by Fred Langlais

Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion
Until 26 July
Timed to coincide with Barbican’s major fashion retrospective, this exhibition for the first time presents the iconic catwalk invitations and ad campaigns that Jean Paul has been designing from the outset of his career.

Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds
Until 24 May
This Crafts Council touring exhibition considers the connections between craft practice and sound art.

Various venues, Sheffield
23-28 June
The inaugural 6 day festival will showcase a range of design disciplines and names from both the UK and internationally, with a city-wide programme of talks, events and exhibitions.

Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, London
Until 2 June
Printer of Dreams has commissioned 10 of London’s finest illustrators to create original works inspired by the best (and worst) of ’80s cinema.

The Design Museum, London
Until 25 August 2014
Now in its seventh year, Designs of the Year gathers together a year of cutting-edge innovation and original talent; showcasing the very best in global Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphic, Product and Transport design.

V&A, London
Until 2 November
This display looks at a century of posters agitating for political change, including both historical and new acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest; from the 'Votes for Women' campaigns of the early 20th century to the recent 'Occupy' movements.

The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford
Until 14 July
Real to Reel presents films that are a final product of contemporary makers’ practice.

Stay Connected

A reminder you can follow all our projects and hear about new opportunities, including those from our partners in the UK and internationally, via the ADF website, our Back of the Envelope blog, and by following us on Twitter @British_design

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