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Foster + Partners’ head of design to curate Royal Academy summer exhibition

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Spencer de Grey, the head of design at Foster + Partners, is to curate the architecture room at this year’s Royal Academy summer exhibition – and is calling for projects with a strong sustainable agenda 

The 74-year-old architect and Royal Academician said this year’s architecture room would be a celebration of our ‘awareness of a more sustainable world’.

And he called for submissions that clearly show how ‘good design and a strong sustainable agenda can be mutually compatible, illustrating approaches necessary to help protect the environment’.

Last year’s architectural showcase of prints, drawings and models was curated by CZWG’s Piers Gough and ran in tandem with The Great Spectacle, an exhibition looking back at 250 years of the Summer Exhibition.

Gough’s 2018 show boasted a ‘huge array of models’ and de Grey has also asked for physical models, though he adds ’two-dimensional work or wall-mounted low reliefs can be equally effective’.

The architect adds: ‘Please note that since none of the exhibits have captions other than an identifying number, any work submitted should incorporate a few, carefully chosen words to explain their sustainable agenda – not an essay.

‘The sustainable approach should be simple to understand for visitors to the summer exhibition.’

De Grey was elected as a Royal Academician in 2008, and received a commendation from the summer exhibition jury in 2013 for his ‘his joyful development models of Foster’s proposed Einstein Museum in Jerusalem’.

Model by Spencer de Grey of Einstein Museum in Jerusalem

Model by Spencer de Grey of Einstein Museum in Jerusalem - - RA show in 2013

Source: Roel Paredeans

Model by Spencer de Grey of Einstein Museum in Jerusalem - RA show in 2013

Previous curators of the architecture room have included Farshid Moussavi, Eva Jiřičná and Eric Parry. 

Last year the Royal Academy was given a £56 million overhaul by David Chipperfield.

Entry to the summer exhibition 2019 opens tomorrow (3 January 2019) and costs £35 per work, click here for more information.

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