Letters from Venice

Four members of the London Met community share their experiences of participating in the prestigious Venice Biennale.

Date: 10 March 2024

Students, staff and alumni from the School of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) have been longstanding contributors to the Venice Biennale - the annual mega-festival of creative practice that alternates between architecture and art each year.  

London Met’s Professor Peter St John led the British Pavilion’s redesign as an ‘island’ in 2018; three years later, Dr Torange Khonsari’s exhibition ‘Ministry of Common Land’ was supported by an Arts Council grant, and for several years we have sent two students each year to join a cohort of others as part of the British Council’s Venice Fellowship Programme. 

As our most recent emissaries in this prestigious scheme, and riding on a wave of ‘Venice Biennale success’ for LondonMet, Amy Young and Amanni Hassan Hollands spent a month each pursuing their personal research while helping to host visitors at the British Pavilion.

Several other students and alumni visited Venice during the exhibition’s six-month schedule. Among them was postgraduate student Emma Carpenter who was working as a Research Assistant on Professor Matthew Barac’s project Afropolitan Architecture, and alumna Sylvia Aehle who recently completed her Part 3 studies in Architecture (Professional Practice) and is now employed by British architectural firm Bennetts Associates who were kind enough to sponsor her to conduct a study visit to the Biennale.

Each of these four women came away from the city with their own impressions, and their letters below add up to an inspiring collective account of the Biennale experience.

Venice Biennale image with montage of photos