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AJ exclusive: muf to curate British Pavilion at Venice


The British Council has selected London’s muf architecture art to curate the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale

The outfit, which describes itself as a collaborative practice of ‘art and architecture committed to public realm projects’, saw off FAT, the Office for Subversive Architecture and Yorkshire-born Andrew Feear of US-based Rural Studio to land the prestigious appointment.

Entitled Two Way Traffic, muf’s British Pavilion aims to ‘make connections’ and ‘enable knowledge exchange between Venice and Britain’.

This year’s biennale – the 12th international architecture exhibition – will be held between 29 August to 21 November 2010 and is being overseen by Kazuyo Sejima from Sanaa.

This biennale’s theme is ‘People in architecture’. Sejima said: ‘The idea is to help people relate to architecture, help architecture relate to people and help people relate to themselves.

‘Can architecture clarify new values and a new lifestyles of the XXI century? This exhibition will be an experience of architecture possibilities, to understand how architecture expresses new ways of living, about an architecture created by different values and approaches. I would be very happy if we could feel where our society will go through this exhibition.

‘There will be independent spaces for each architect or each theme, which means that the participants will be their own curators. In this way contributors will design their own space and make presentations that consider the experience of the visitor both physically and conceptually. It will be a series of spaces rather than a series of objects.’

In recent years British Pavilions have been curated by the likes of Jeremy Till (Echo City, 2006) and Ellis Woodman (Home/Away: 5 British Architects Build Housing in Europe, 2008).

The winners of the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2008, muf is best known for its work on Barking town square.


This year’s advisory panel for the British Pavilion were: Christopher Egret, director of Studio Egret West; Kathryn Findlay, co-founder Ushida Findlay Architects; Pedro Gadanho, Professor at Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto; Michael Hegarty, director of PLACE; Sarah Ichioka, director, Architecture Foundation (and chair of panel); Kieran Long, and Vicky Richardson, editor of Blueprint and forthcoming director of architecture, design, fashion, British Council.



Readers' comments (2)

  • Appart from a stupid practice name what have muff actually done? I've seen their building in st albans and it is very banal....what made the arts council choose muff ? ...do they thing they are taking the edge by choosing an all female outfit who are called the slang / schoolboy name for vagina ? Muff's design will be piecemeal / fragmented as they have never proven themselves to have seen the big picture - only one thing could have been worse - the project went to FAT (don't get me going on this bunch of talentless self-publicists).....

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  • Jings, give it to them straight why don't you anonymous.

    Their Barking Square project is beautifully executed.

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