Architecture students win prestigious Venice Biennale fellowships

Alice Bufton (left) will spend August in Venice, while Nathaniel Welham will be there in July, and Nansi Jones will live in the city throughout September

Liverpool School of Architecture will support three University of Liverpool students to invigilate the British Pavilion and conduct independent research at La Biennale di Venezia this summer, in partnership with the British Council.

The three Architecture MArch students; Alice Bufton, Nathaniel Welham and Nansi Jones, were competitively selected to spend a month in the Italian city on the 2018 Venice Fellowships Programme, which forms part of the British Pavilion at the highly prestigious 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

Nansi Jones said: “I am incredibly excited.

“The Biennale is one of the biggest international architectural events in the calendar, and has played hosts to some very big names within the architectural world over the years.

“To have something as distinguished and prestigious on my CV as the Biennale is really exciting but I also have a real interest in historical and ecclesiastical architecture, so the research I undertake while over there will hopefully aid me in getting a job within that area.”

Alice Bufton, who visited the Biennale in 2014, said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for the university to offer its students.

“Apart from living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, getting to work behind the scenes of the biennale and be a part of its day to day workings is really amazing.”

Alice, Nathaniel and Nansi will be invigilating the exhibition, Island, commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion from Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with the artist, Marcus Taylor. It will see the construction of a new public space on the roof of the pavilion building.

Throughout Biennale Architettura 2018, the Pavilion of Great Britain will programme a unique series of events including poetry, performance, film and architectural talks and debates in response to Freespace and ideas raised by Island.

The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators to an international audience.

Head of the School of Architecture, and Sir James Stirling Chair in Architecture, Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay, said: “The Venice Fellowships Programme offers our students the opportunity to become actively involved in La Biennale di Venezia and gain first-hand experience of the British Pavilion, this year’s curators and their vision.

“We have selected some of our brightest students to embark on a unique personal and creative experience.

“Additionally, as partners in the Venice Fellowship Programme, we hope to adopt aspects of the Biennale themes as part of our academic programme; showcase our Fellows’ research and creative responses on their return to university and encourage students through organised field trips to visit the Biennale and explore the wonders of Venice.”

Laura Broderick, Venice Fellowships Programme Manager for the British Council, said: The Venice Fellowships programme is a fantastic international experience for students and graduates – with bespoke training in London, skills development opportunities at the British Pavilion, and a chance to expand networks across the UK.”

The Fellowships programme was initiated in 2014 by the British Council to strengthen the British Pavilion contribution as a platform for ideas and research. This programme aims to educate and enrich the exhibition, making it a reference point for universities and arts institutions. The Fellowships offers a way of viewing and experiencing art and architecture that provides a new outlook on issues of public and private space, artistic process and display.

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia runs from May 26 to November 25 2018. To find out more about the British Pavilion in Venice, please visit  

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