London 2020 – In the wake of the pandemic, the British capital is trying to raise its head, but some wounds are clearly still opened and designers couldn’t stop to reflect and create even if in lockdown. We selected sensible COVID-19 related design exhibitions on show at London Design Festival 2020.
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CONNECTED exhibition at London Design Museum
At London Design Museum the CONNECTED exhibition explores how designers and craftspeople adapted their working practices during lockdown. For this project the American Hardwood Export Council, Benchmark Furniture and the museum have challenged 9 international designers including Ini Archibong, Sabrine Marcelis, Jamie Hayon, Thomas Heaterwick and more. They all have recorded their creative journeys offering an insight on n their design-thinking approach during these challenging times.
UN(FINISHED) exhibition at Brompton Design District
At Brompton Design District, the UN(FINISHED) showcase supports 17 graduates from the RCA’s MA Design Products 2020 who have been unable to hold a degree show. Through a series of one-day residencies, they recreate the collaborative environment of the design studio they lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. Maria Ramon Vazquez presents her Second Life tableware projects which aims to give a new chance to fragments found in the foreshore of the River Thames. With a changing display, Un(finished) is visible from the street 24/7 and online.
UNITY installation at Coal Drops Yard
In King’s Cross, French designer Marlene Huissoud has created the UNITY installation which “emphasises the notion of unity and the importance of working together to repurpose and reconsider our shared environments as we emerge from the pandemic”. Visitors are invited to stand around the piece forming a circle two metres apart. Thanks to foot pumps they can breathe life into the piece collaboratively. If no one is pumping, the installation will deflate and lose its power and vitality.
PATTERN PORTRAITS installation at Coal Drops Yard
With the PATTERN PORTRAITS installation, artist Lauren Godfrey has installed 120 bright flags stretching between the iconic roofs of Coal Drops Yard. The flags have been created by students during lockdown. The artist worked with BA Textiles students from Central Saint Martins and the STORE Store initiative helping local young people into applied creative arts. Students were asked to take patterned fabrics and items of their own clothing and combine them to create abstract forms, and to then capture the result as a still life.
STAIRCASE OF DREAM by Fandangoe Kids
The STAIRCASE OF DREAM is a large-scale design intervention by artist and designer Fandangoe Kid who teamed up with the students to fill with colour the steps in front of a college building in Walthamstow. Messages like “Brave New Youth” and “Time to Shake it Up” call for unity highlighting the urgency of activism for a better future. “We are all emerging from periods of isolation and the very new experience of lockdown” The Fandangoe Kid declared “I think we are all bound by a need to connect to other and communicate. This installation is about how we navigate a new normal and how we push forward.” The artwork is part of the William Morris Design Line, a new community-focused design route through the streets of Walthamstow.