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AJ exclusive: Ellis Woodman named new Architecture Foundation director

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The relaunched Architecture Foundation (AF) has appointed the AJ’s critic-at-large Ellis Woodman as its new director

Woodman, who curated the British Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, takes the helm of the foundation as its seeks to reinvent itself as a ‘smaller and nimbler’ London-focused organisation.

Last summer Simon Allford, chairman of the AF’s board of trustees, announced plans for a root-and-branch overhaul of the cash-strapped foundation and its relaunch as a ‘more responsive’ body with a new ‘inspirational and entrepreneurial’ director.

Speaking about Woodman’s appointment, Allford said: ‘Our shared vision is that the AF focuses discussion on the significant issues we face in designing for London’s population growth and how this will affect the UK as a whole.

‘This will not be an introspective debate, and Ellis will ensure that the AF engages with the world, as both a receiver and transmitter of innovation and experiment.’

Woodman said: ‘Having followed the AF’s programme since I was a student, I appreciate what a fundamental role it has played in developing the architectural discourse in this country and beyond. The opportunity to build on that legacy and prove the AF’s continued relevance is extremely exciting.’

The organisation – which famously saw its dreams for a £5 million Zaha Hadid-designed headquarters dashed in 2008 – quit its Tooley Street headquarters in Southwark last year and moved to a temporary home at the Cass at London Metropolitan University.

Read an exclusive interview with Woodman here.

Past AF directors

1991 - 1997 Richard Burdett
1997 - 2002 Lucy Musgrave
2002 - 2008 Rowan Moore
2008 - 2014 Sarah Ichioka


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