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UCA alumna wins Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary

Our Architecture graduate Kyveli Anastasiadi, who is now an artist and architect, has secured a Bursary Award from the Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS) to support the development of her unusual career path in performance architecture.

After graduating from our School of Architecture in Canterbury – which has been ranked in the top ten for architecture courses this year – Kyveli went on to explore design through dance and movement in her work, and has recently launched the Viral Institute of Performance Architecture (VIPA) with two other architects. Her interest in performance architecture began when studying with us and, as her studies progressed, she realised it was her way of understanding and thinking up new design ideas.

Royal Society of British Sculptors

“I have a passion for dance and sculpture, and architecture is not only about buildings, but more about space as an extension of our bodies, and an outcome of the way we move,” said Kyveli.

“I could not come up with a design for a building by sketching it on a piece of paper, or sitting in front of a computer. I had to find a way to arrive at a design so I started improvising and it seemed that movement and 1:1 scale drawings were the way for me to do so.”

Designed for early career artists working in three dimensions, the RBS Bursary Award provides Kyveli with access to mentoring, the chance to exhibit and a three-year membership to the Society. The prizes will support Kyveli’s current project which she is working on in her native Greece, called Anavasis, in which she’s designing her father’s house on a steep hilltop with architect Aliki Kylika.

Royal Society of British Sculptors

“Anavasis means ascent, which symbolises my father’s journey to his last earthly home,” she explained. “The project will demonstrate the performance and sculptural processes that were followed to arrive at the design.

“It poses two fundamental questions for us: where does form come from, and how would architecture look if it was performed rather than drawn on paper? It’s a challenging project and it takes a long time to finish each phase, but maybe that is a good thing!”

Kyveli’s interest in performance in design has continued to develop since graduating, and the Viral Institute of Performance Architecture (VIPA), which she helped to launch at the Prague Quadrennial in 2015, intends to provide a different approach to thinking, teaching and making in architecture.

Royal Society of British Sculptors

“Winning this award has been confirmation that the idea of performance architecture had to be approached by a different type of audience first, to be further accepted by architects and the academic industry at a later stage,” said Kyveli. “It’s a great motivation to keep working on architecture with a different mindset and way of approaching design.”

Kyveli will be exhibiting alongside the other award winners at the Royal British Society of Sculptors in Kensington, London from 17 March.

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