Design – Until June 27, London Design Biennale 2021 invites visitors to explore the potential of design-thinking with immersive installations and awareness-raising exhibitions in the heart of London. Es Devlin, the curator of the 3rd edition of the biennale, invited participants to tune in to the main theme, Resonance, exploring how design can provide solutions to the major challenges and crises the world faces today.
- RELATED STORIES: Read more about London Design Biennale on Archipanic…
Forest for Change – The British designer filled the Somerset House courtyard with 400 trees native from the UK and Northern Europe. Visitors can meander in the verdant labyrinth and discover an installation in the central clearing, driving awareness of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Back in the days, Sir William Chambers designed Somerset House with a clause forbidding any vegetation in its grand central courtyard. Instead, the Devlin went ‘punk,’ filling the space with a forest to make a strong statement. “Times have changed.” Says Es Devlin to Archipanic. “The FOREST FOR CHANGE installation invites visitors to reflect on the potential for greening urban centres.”
On the River Terrace, the Pavilion of the African Diaspora by Ini Archibong provides a global stage for the voices of people born of the African diaspora in an architectural folly recalling a sail. The setting will be used as a stage for talks, events and performances from Africans and their descendants who have settled away from the continent due to migration or slavery.
Ghana explores the conversation between the country and two of its former colonial rulers, Britain and Denmark, over four centuries, with a site-specific installation looking at the history of Somerset House.
Germany presents the ‘Spoon Archaeology’ exhibition by Kai Linke and Peter Eckart, featuring disposable cutlery displayed as if they were archaeological artifacts. Since the EU has banned single-use plastic cutlery, these objects represent centuries of cultural heritage as well as today’s throwaway society, encouraging the viewer to develop new perspectives for alternative futures.
Two large pipes fill the room of the Canada exhibition, forcing visitors to physically bend around its installation to spotlight the reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems at the expense of the wellbeing of our planet.
Highlighting the melting of the global ice caps, Antarctica considers if this global peril is reversible in an AI-generated video installation. Austria focuses on the essential task of climate ‘care’ and the possibilities artificial intelligence may open to make us a climate-conscious species.
The Design In An Age of Crisis exhibition showcases radical design thinking from the world’s design community, the public, and young people, in response to a global Open Call that attracted 500 submissions from over 50 countries across six continents. Visitors can view and absorb these radical ideas in an installation by Juliet Quintero of award-winning architecture, art and place-shaping studio Dallas-Pierce-Quintero, with graphics by world-renowned design studio Pentagram.
All photos by Ed Reed, courtesy of London Design Biennale.