The first ever London Design Biennale has now opened at Somerset House
For the next three weeks, visitors can expect a full-blown take-over, including installations, artworks, prototypes and designs from 37 countries and territories, set to entertain and inspire.
These brand new works, by world-leading architects, designers, scientists, writers and artists, include large-scale kinetic sculptures, immersive digital installations, culinary pop-ups, performances and VR renderings of the future.
Each exhibit is a response to the Biennale’s 2016 theme Utopia by Design, chosen as part of Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, to mark the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s text. The resulting commissions are richly varied, including fantastical imaginings of future cities, homages to unrealised utopian proposals of the past and innovative solutions for issues in 21st-century life.
Visitors will be able to grab a pomegranate juice, falafel or a wet shave in a meticulous recreation of a bustling Beirut street on the Thames riverfront; influence a precarious light sculpture as it moves, dims and brightens in reaction to its spectators; eat the conceptual food of Chung-Ho Tsai in a tranquil forest-like setting; relax in the mouths of ferocious beasts courtesy or wander around the Santander of 2100 in a virtual reality realisation of the city’s future.
The UK is represented by London-based design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and their 14-metre kinetic sculpture and exploration of the nation’s relationship with wind energy. Other leading institutions, museums and organisations representing their countries include Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, DAMnº magazine, German Design Council, MAK, Moscow Design Museum, Triennale Design Museum, India Design Forum, Southern Guild, and The Japan Foundation.
The curated, three-week long Biennale will also overlap with the London Design Festival, complementing its city-wide programme of commissions and partner events every two years.
Tickets for the London Design Biennale are on sale now. You can get yours at Ticketmaster.co.uk and check out some amazing images from the exhibition below: