Venice Fellowship 2018

Recent Furniture and Product design graduate Ella Merriman reflects on her experience as a fellow at the Architecture Biennale this summer

Date: 19 September 2018

Living in Venice and working at The Architecture Biennale was a wonderful experience and the perfect conclusion to my degree. I lived in the Castello district of Venice for five weeks throughout August along with eleven other Fellows from Universities around the UK. We worked in the Giardini at the British Pavilion where the work of Caruso St John and Marcus Taylor is currently being exhibited to celebrate the 16th year of La Biennale Architettura.

My role as a British Council Fellow involved looking after the British Pavilion and introducing visitors to the concept behind the work displayed. I also assisted with events such as one held by the Royal Academy where sound and movement workshops were organised by artists and poets. The atmosphere at the Biennale was a welcoming one and I met so many wonderful people, both visiting and working in other pavilions. Many of the international staff became good friends with whom I spent my evenings and days off.

Alongside my work at the pavilion, I carried out research into an area of my choosing, inspired by the theme of the Biennale - Freespace. Venice is so culturally rich that it was a challenge to focus on just one theme. However, now that I have returned and continue to write up my findings, I realise how much I learnt and saw in my time there. It was an experience that I will always cherish and I have come home feeling inspired and excited to begin my career in design.

Ella Merriman

Ella Merriman was one of two Cass students (with Tarn Philipp) granted a British Council Venice Fellowship in 2018

group in blindfolds and woman walking next to vencie canal

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