‘Home Economics’ to be presented in the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The British Council will present the exhibition Home Economics in the British Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, which will run from 28 May to 27 November 2016.

Home Economics responds to Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena’s theme ‘Reporting from the Front’ by tackling the frontline of British architecture: the home.

The curatorial team of Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams, chosen following a competition organised by the British Council, has invited established and emerging artists, architects and designers to produce immersive 1:1 environments, which challenge the status quo and propose new futures for the home.

Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams said:

Home Economics is not about designing better versions of established housing models that are already broken. It is about designing new ideas of the home, understood through the duration of occupancy.

“That is why we have chosen participants and partners 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.”

Each participant has been asked to propose architectural responses – rather than solutions – to the conditions imposed on domestic life by varying periods of occupancy, and each response will inhabit one of the five rooms in the British Pavilion, with different participants responsible for each space.

Proposal are realised as a full scale model. Advisors and collaborators include: Arup, Atelier One, Fergus Henderson, FJORD, Generation Rent, JW Anderson, Naked House Collective Builders, The Collective and PegasusLife.

The exhibition design will be executed by the architectural practice Hesselbrand, while London-based design studio OK-RM is responsible for the exhibition navigation and graphic identity.

The graphic identity includes a series of artworks accompanying the exhibition, specially commissioned by the curatorial team and produced by OK-RM in collaboration with photographer Matthieu Lavanchy.

Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council, said:

Home Economics is an inspiring attempt to step outside of the confines of the housing debate, and to question the brief. Here, the curators have written a new brief for architects, based on a far-sighted view of what the home is and will become. They may not yet have all the solutions, but I’m convinced that their approach will shift the role architects can play in relation to the housing crisis.

The British Pavilion is a platform for international debate about ideas that can change British architecture. Home Economics continues the recent tradition of using the Venice Biennale as the basis for a research project.

Through the Venice Fellowships programme, 50 students from the UK will also be able to contribute their ideas to the discussion about the architecture of the home.”