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Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BritishCouncil.png

João Guarantani came to talk to us on the 24th of Febuary about his work and background in the arts. At the moment João works for the British Council. The British Council is based in London and has many different roles, they are present in 109 countries and represent Britain overseas. They work alongside the foreign office and with British Universities.

The British Council also work very closely with the arts, promoting British Art and Culture overseas. They bring the best of Britain, worldwide and the best of the world to Britain. João works in the Architecture,Design and Fashion department.He is in charge of East Asia and the Americas.

Each year the department puts on three showcases.

The first one is the International Fashion Showcase in London Fashion Week which presents the best of fashion worldwide. The show is open to all the public and is a static show opposed to all the catwalk shows in LFW. Last year it took place at 180 The Strand.There was a big presence from Korean Universities and Austria.

The second is the International Architecture Showcase. This is shown in many different galleries and incorporates a residency platform which pairs artists.

The last one is Design Connection which is the design festival which takes place in London during September. During this festival designers flood to London to see the “best of” which was also accompanied by 10×10, where 10 emerging British designers spoke each for 10 minutes.

João also spoke to us about the Venice Architecture Biennale which takes place over six months. During this period the British Pavillion is filled with British art. He also discussed other projects that he does such as New British Inventors with the Thomas Heatherwick Studio, the Ice Lab in Antartica. and finally the Maker Library which has started off in the UK and South Africa and hopes to expand to Morocco, Turkey and Nigeria.

To finish off his presentation, João briefly discussed his career. He started off at Central Saint Martins studying Graphic Design and following on from this worked in the shop at the Royal Academy. João worked at the Brazilian  Embassy for a while designing the catalogues before taking on a Postgraduate degree of Cultural Studies at Burkbank.

I found João’s talk incredibly detailed and intriguing. I thought the branch of work he does is exciting and to be involved in so many projects must be really interesting. I thought his talk was strong and he captured my attention  right until the end. I would love to be able to do some work experience in this branch of work because it is something that I would maybe like to look into after my degree.

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