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In pictures: inside the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

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The AJ can reveal first photographs of the British contribution to this year’s Venice Biennale - a show aimed at challenging the traditional perception of the home

Entitled Home Economics, the much-anticipated British Council-backed exhibition responds to Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena’s theme of Reporting from the Front.

Through a series of immersive 1:1 environments, the installation provokes new thinknig about the British idea of the home.

The exhibition curated by Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams unfolds through five architectural propositions designed around incremental amounts of time: hours, days, months, years and decades.

In each room a different designer has been tasked with proposing a response to the conditions imposed on domestic life through varying amounts of occupancy.

The five rooms

Hours

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Hours Room in Home Economics

This room, put together by the British Pavilion’s curators Jack Self, Shumi Bose and Finn Williams, presents a new form of shared space. Referencing research on how we use our homes the space reimagines sharing as a luxury rather than a compromise. The space is dominated by two new pieces of furniture – a modular day bed and a transparent communal wardrobe.

Days

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Days Room in Home Economics

Created by London-based art collective åyr, this room imagines a new type of portable space as a response to the growth of services such as Airbnb. It contains two inflatable spheres which are designed to be easily personalised and transported to different environments in order to create a home away from home.

Months

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Months Room in Home Economics

Created by the office of Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara – Dogma and Black Square Dogma – this room looks at short term residencies created by temporary work contracts, study visas and university terms. The room is arranged around a central ‘totem’ or ‘utility core’ which includes spaces for sleeping, washing and cooking. Around this central private space are open plan areas which act as shared spaces for working and socialising.

Years

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Years Room in Home Economics

Created by 2014 AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Julia King, this room looks at the conflict between perceiving a home as an asset rather than as a place to live. It explores the house from a bank’s perspective with everything but the essentials required by a mortgage lender stripped out.

Decades

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Decades Room in Home Economics

Designed by London and Oslo-based practice Hesselbrand, this room explores the spatial conditions formed by very long-term occupancies.

The pavilion’s curators, stated: ‘Britain is in the grips of a housing crisis. This is not only a failure of supply to meet demand, it is a failure of traditional housing models to accommodate new patterns of domestic life.

‘The way we live is changing radically through time. Home Economics is not about designing better versions of established housing models that are already broken. It is about designing new ideas for the home understood through the duration of occupancy.

‘That is why we have chosen room designers and advisers who are working outside of traditional models, pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. We believe that British architecture is not responding to the challenges of modern living – life is changing; we must design for it.’

Vicky Richardson, British Council commissioner for Home Economics, added: ’Home Economics is an inspiring exhibition that approaches the debate about housing in an inventive and ambitious way. The curators have written a new brief for architects based on a far-sighted view of what the home is and will become.

’Their approach places architecture in a proactive position in relation to the housing crisis and I’m convinced it will contribute to creating a new and more constructive debate. We are delighted to continue the tradition of using the British Pavilion as a platform for research and ideas generation.

The Biennale opens on 28 May and runs until 27 November 2016.

 

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