December 1, 2023

British pavilion at 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

3 min read
British pavilion at 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

Designers unveiled for British Pavilion at 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham are revealed as the team to lead the design of the British Pavilion at the upcoming 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

A team composed of architects, designers and curators Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham has just been revealed as the main creative force behind the exhibition at the British Pavilion at the upcoming 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Selected to represent the UK at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, the industry’s festival staple that will be curated next year by Lesley Lokko, the group of creatives promises an exciting take on the pavilion’s space. 

Jayden Ali is the founding director of interdisciplinary practice JA Projects (hailed in 2020 by Wallpaper* as one of the groundbreaking architecture studios to look out for) and a senior lecturer at Central Saint Martins; Joseph Henry is a designer and urbanist, co-founder of platform Sound Advice and works as part of the Culture and Creative Industries Team at the Greater London Authority; Meneesha Kellay is the contemporary programme curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A); and Sumitra Upham is a curator and writer, currently head of public programmes at the Crafts Council.

The 2023 British Pavilion

’The British Pavilion presents a unique opportunity to reach an international audience on the world’s most prestigious platform for architecture. This commission will demonstrate how we can rethink our built environment and the architectural canon through a decolonial lens and learn from diaspora communities and cultures to create a more equitable, sustainable, healthier and joyful future,’ says Sevra Davis, director of architecture, design and fashion at the British Council. 

The exhibition, further details of which are to be announced later in the year, ‘will reveal how respecting and learning from diasporic craft and material cultures can help foster a more sustainable future for architecture, one that is built on principles of care and equity over extraction and exploitation’.

Wallpaper’s profile of Jayden Ali

Jayden Ali photographed for the January 2020 issue of Wallpaper*. Photography: Elena Heatherwick

‘We see the city as a place of multiple stories, scenes and actors – a theatre that mediates our relationship as citizens between one another and place,’ says architect Jayden Ali. Heading JA Projects since 2015, Ali has been working at the intersection of architecture, urban strategy, art and performance through a wealth of multidisciplinary projects ranging from community and education commissions to film and curating. This way of looking at architecture, through an analysis of society, cultural power, ownership and expression, is a constant in the young studio’s work.

Ali also teaches as a senior lecturer at Central Saint Martins, where he co-leads the MArch Architecture (RIBA II) course, which helps fuel his research-based approach. ‘We are interested in the “constructed works” of the world (both material and immaterial) and their dialogue with society. And so, from small fleeting events to large permanent buildings and even larger urban strategies, we deliver projects that intervene both socially as well as spatially. All our work is considered research,’ he explains. Read more here. §