British Council picks critic to curate British pavilion at Venice

The Daily Telegraph’s architecture critic, Ellis Woodman, has been appointed by the British Council to curate the British pavilion at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale, which takes place this year.

Woodman’s exhibition will examine the way in which five contemporary architects address the question of the UK’s burgeoning housing crisis.

He plans to explore both the British obsession with home ownership and the effect of the domination of the market by private-sector developers.

The show will feature the work of architects such as Sergison Bates, Tony Fretton, de Rijke Marsh Morgan, Witherford Watson Mann and Maccreanor Lavington. ‘These architects’ experiences of different housing cultures will serve as a means of interrogating the success and failures of the British condition,’ says Woodman.

British Council head of design and architecture Emily Campbell adds, ‘Our advisors for the 2008 pavilion agreed housing is the key issue that architects, developers, builders and Government in the UK need to address.’

Born in 1972, Woodman studied architecture at university in Cambridge and north London and was a practicing architect for seven years.

The news comes at a time of uncertainty for the council’s specialist arts departments, whose future will depend on a current cosultation process. Despite this, the organisation is pressing ahead with a revamp of its on-line branding and identity. Rufus Leonard has been awarded the Central Office of Information tender for the project, which will run over the next six months.

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