At the beginning of 2012, I entered a competition with Ross Anderson. The brief was Venice Takeaway, a project run by the British Council to create an exhibition for the British Pavilion at 13th Venice Architecture Biennale [August- November 2012]. ere lucky to be chosen as one of 10 groups who sought to discover examples of ways of practicing and procuring architecture in a variety of places around the world - LA, Tokyo and Buenos Aires to name a few. Our research took us to Moscow, to meet, interview and document a group of Architects known as the Paper Architects. I could ramble for hours about our trip, the wonderful Russians we met, and the inspiration we found.

This collective of young architects, in 1980s Moscow, found creative expression in a series of competition entries. These competitions were ‘forbidden’ in Soviet Russia but the young Paper Architects persevered and showed great determination to get their ideas into the outside world.

Click here for an informal audio interview of Ross and I discussing the Project in Venice.

Our work for Venice Takeaway was exhibited in Venice between August-November 2012, and afterwards moved to the RIBA in London between February - April 2013.

Inspired by the Paper Architects we met in Moscow, and by their determination to enter ‘forbidden’ competitions in Soviet Russia, our piece for the exhibition we sought to challenge a competition ‘forbidden’ to us - one subject to the PQQ process.  We founded paper+ architects, a platform to pursue our mission to create a collective of paper architects for 2012, to enter competitions and challenge accepted norms.

The events in Venice were the culmination of 6 months of hard work and it was fantastic to be involved. So, thank you to the British Council for taking a chance on an errant couple of young architects, and for giving us the opportunity to take part in such an exciting project. Details of the other 9 exciting projects can be found here.

Anna + Ross in Red Square, Moscow, 2012

Anna + Ross in Red Square, Moscow, 2012

Alexander Brodsky in his Studio, Moscow, 2012

Alexander Brodsky in his Studio, Moscow, 2012

Etchings by Brodsky + Utkin in Ilya Utkin's Worskhop, Moscow, 2012

Etchings by Brodsky + Utkin in Ilya Utkin's Worskhop, Moscow, 2012

Mikhail Belov at his Country Home, Moscow, 2012

Mikhail Belov at his Country Home, Moscow, 2012

Paper Architecture at the State Museum Archives, Moscow, 2012

Paper Architecture at the State Museum Archives, Moscow, 2012

Architects at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012 [courtesy of The Guardian]

Architects at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012 [courtesy of The Guardian]

Paper Architecture at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

Paper Architecture at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

Paper Architecture Research Emporium at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

Paper Architecture Research Emporium at the British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

British Pavilion, Venice, 2012

Venice Takeaway at the RIBA, London, 2013

Venice Takeaway at the RIBA, London, 2013

Mockba at the RIBA, London, 2013

Mockba at the RIBA, London, 2013