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Vicky Richardson

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  • Vicky leads the Urbanism Platform for MA Interior Design. During the academic year 2019/2020, the group is focusing on interior public space, and the extended definition of public realm as outlined in the London Mayor’s Draft Plan 2020.

  • Biography

  • Vicky Richardson is a writer and curator specialising in architecture and design. In 2014 she was nominated as one of Debrett’s 500, as one of 20 most influential people in British architecture; and in 2015 she was named a 'Woman of the Year', and received an Honorary Fellowship from the RIBA.

    Her writing is published in books, magazines and newspapers including AD, the Evening StandardDezeen and Icon; and she is a regular public speaker and convenor of events, including the LFA/RA Symposium 2019, the symposium Rebuilding Aleppo: Memory, loss and creation at the Freud Museum in 2018, and The Successful Architect? at the Royal Academy in 2018.

    In 2019 she conceived and curated the exhibition What Where: crossing boundaries in the architecture of Sala Beckett,which was one of the highlights of London Festival of Architecture 2019 at the Roca London Gallery.

    Richardson was Associate Director at the London School of Architecture from 2017-2018. During this crucial phase of the school's development, she established a public programme and curated the exhibition Idencity, based on the work of the school’s Design Think Tanks.

    Richardson is best known for her work as Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council, UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations from 2010-2016. An important part of this role was to act as Commissioner of the British Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale. Exhibitions during this period included Villa Frankenstein curated by Muf architecture/art (2010); Venice Takeaway: Ideas to change British Architecture co-curated by Richardson and Vanessa Norwood (2012); A Clockwork Jerusalem curated by FAT and Crimson Architectural Historians (2014), and Home Economics, curated by Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams (2016).

    Her commitment to internationalism in architecture and design continues: since 2018 she has worked closely with Beijing-based Lantao Design Academy to established a fellowship to create closer links between British and Chinese architects and designers. The Lantao UK Fellowship was launched with a three-day symposium at the RCA, China Futures, in September 2019.

    Richardson studied architecture at the University of Westminster after a foundation in art at Central St Martins. Following a degree in architecture, she gained a professional qualification in Newspaper Writing and embarked on a career as a journalist, initially at the BBC in Birmingham. She went on to become Deputy Editor at RIBA Journal before becoming Editor of leading design magazine Blueprint, from 2004 to 2010.

    Richardson is a member of the Advisory panel of the V&A Dundee. She was previously Hon Treasurer of the Architectural Association, a Co-Director of the London Festival of Architecture and a member of the London Mayor’s Cultural Strategy Group, which advised on the British capital’s culture policy.

    She is a thesis supervisor at NYU (London) on the MA Historical and Sustainable Architecture; and a visiting lecturer at several design and architecture schools including the University of California, Berkeley (London), Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; Arts University Bournemouth, and Bishopsgate Institute

    In 2015 Richardson completed an MA in Early Modern History at King’s College London. Her dissertation focused on the English publication and censorship of Common Sense, the first pamphlet by Thomas Paine, in 1776.
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  • External collaborations

  • Trustee/director, Camden Railway Heritage Trust, 2019–present

    Jury member, London Architecture Film Festival, 2019

    Designs of the Year nominator, Design Museum 2014–2018 

    Advisory committee, V&A Dundee Museum, 2014–present

    Council member and Hon Treasurer, Architectural Association, 2015–2017 

    Advisory committee, Asia Culture Complex, Gwangju, South Korea, 2014–2016 

    Advisor to the Mayor as part of the London Cultural Strategy Group, 2008–2016 

    Co-director, London Festival of Architecture, 2010–2014

    Trustee, Campaign for Drawing, educational charity, 2006–2011

    Chair, Architecture Centre Network, 2007–2009

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Curated exhibitions and events:

    Exhibition curator, What Where: crossing boundaries in the architecture of Sala Beckett, Roca London Gallery, June-September 2019

    Lecture series curator, Bodies of Thought, Royal Academy 2018-2019 

    Programme curator, public space study tour for emerging Russian architects and urban planners, Strelka Institute and British Council, 2018 

    Exhibition curator, Idencity: Six Designs to Challenge the Identity of London, Roca London Gallery, June-August 2018

    Event series curator, Wapping Project Kitchen Conversations, 2017 

    Exhibition curator, Venice Takeaway, British Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012


    Selected published work

    Essays:

    ‘Slippery When Wet: the corporate language of architecture’, The Identity of the Architect, AD 06, Vol 89 (2019)

    ‘A House for Writers’, What Where (2019)

    ‘Trade Show’, Faye Toogood at London Design Festival (2017)

    ‘Queen Caroline's Temple and the Origins of Experimental Design in Kensington Gardens’, Serpentine Pavilion & Summer Houses 2016, Koenig Books (2016)

    ‘Generational Shift: being a young architect in the UK and Korea’, Out of the Ordinary, The Architectural Publisher B (2015)

    Books:

    Norwood, V. & Richardson, V., (2012) Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture, AA Publications

    Richardson, V. & Friend, A., (2006) How Places Work: Teachers Resource, CABE Education

    Richardson, V., (2003) The Dungeness Box, Arts Council of England

    Richardson, V., (2012) New Vernacular Architecture, Laurence King

    Lewis, P., Richardson, V. & Woudhuysen, J. (1999) In Defence of the Dome, ASI Publications

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  • Awards and Grants

  • Honorary Fellowship, RIBA, 2015

    Woman of Achievement, Women of the Year, 2015

    Highly Commended, Editor of the Year, Professional Publishers Association, 2007

Selected work

Research

Current and recent research

Current research projects include the extended definition of public realm and the interior; internationalism in architecture and design, and the relationship between Samuel Beckett and architectural space.