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British Council selects students for Venice Fellowship

Kent School of Architecture is pleased to announce that two of its MArch Part II students have been selected for a work-study fellowship at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Jasmine Davey (4th Year) and Jessica Ringrose (5th Year) will each spend a month in the beautiful city of Venice and right in the heart of the 2014 Biennale, directed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas. This year’s theme is ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914 – 2014’, which will be subject to much debate, discussion and create a fresh understanding of the world’s take on the development of Modernist ideas. The British Pavilion will host ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’: how international influences of Modernism have mixed with long-standing British sensibilities. From around the UK and beyond, a total of 50 students from 12 architecture schools and institutions will each be supported by a financial grant to take on this work-study opportunity in the world’s most important architectural festival that will run from June to November this year.

Jasmine (who will be in Venice in September) and Jessica (who will be going in June) will spend four days a week invigilating the exhibition in the British Pavilion. Both have proved through the application process that they are reliable, organised and competent for the task of overseeing the day-to-day running of the pavilion and, in essence, become the public faces of the exhibition. In addition, Jasmine and Jessica will spend three days a week undertaking a research project focusing on ‘Absorbing Modernity’ and can stretch their investigations to cover a number of core sub-themes and evolving ideas. They will ultimately be producing a written piece that centres on individual conclusions, which will then be published.

Jasmine says: It is a rare, fortunate opportunity to get a chance to be a part of the Biennale. I am really grateful KSA have made this a possibility. The application had quite specific questions that got you thinking about the theme for the Biennale this year, so it will be interesting to see how the study I take on will develop from the interests I have about architectural developments from 1914-2014. At the moment, I think I would like to research what cultural gems we choose preserve (I see preservation as something that only became important after 1914 and is interesting to look at alongside the modernisation of design) or something to do with the avant guarde movement.”

Jessica says: “Almost every architecture CV has the same information; whether a person has done Part I, II, III etc. so this experience will add something else to my CV. I am very much interested in the National Identity of Architecture, but as I will be in Venice, I would probably look into the identities of other countries featured. I think Absorbing Modernity is how we present ourselves to others, how Britain is distinguished and do we actually export anything influential to other countries?”

This week, the two students will be attending a three day residential induction school in London, in order to network with other Biennale Fellows, staff and receive pre-departure information and advice. We at KSA wish Jessica and Jasmine the very best of luck in their preparations leading up to their fellowships and, of course, congratulate them in becoming suitable ambassadors for this unique event.

For more information about the Venice Biennale, click here.

-Srimathi Aiyer (Stage 4)

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