Sarah Mann is to take over from Vicky Richardson as director of architecture, design and fashion at the British Council
Currently the programme lead for London at the National Trust, Mann returns to the British Council in April having spent two years working on the organisation’s festival of emerging British Arts in South Africa in 2014 and 2015. Before that Mann was part of the curatorial team and head of learning and participation at Somerset House (2008-2012) and has an MA in curating contemporary design from Kingston University and The Design Museum.
Richardson, who had been with the council for six years, will continue in her role as commissioner of the British Pavilion until the opening of Venice Architecture Biennale on 28 May 2016.
As director of architecture design and fashion, Mann will lead on the British Council’s work ’producing, commissioning and coordinating a diverse array of projects linking designers and cultural institutions around the world’, from showcases of international architecture and fashion in the UK to major international touring exhibitions and the British presentation at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.
Mann said: ’I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Architecture Design Fashion team at the British Council, a department which has provided inspiration for me for from the beginning of my career.
‘I am looking forward to building on the success of projects such the International Fashion Showcase and the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and to developing ambitious programmes building new partnerships and international collaborations for the UK.’
Richardson is leaving the council to work on exhibition and writing projects, and to continue research she began as part of a recent master’s degree in history.
According to the British Council, the Architecture Design Fashion department saw ’considerable growth in its programme’ under Richardson’s leadership, turning the British Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale ’into an important opportunity for research as well as a showcase for the best of British architecture.’
Richardson studied architecture at the University of Westminster and was editor of Blueprint magazine for six years before joining the British Council. In 2014 she was recognised with an RIBA honorary fellowship.