Days Out


What to expect from London Design Biennale 2018

Up to 40 countries and cities will exhibit at Somerset House.

Find tickets here

Somerset House in the heart of London is preparing to host up to 40 countries and cities at the second edition of London Design Biennale. The exhibition, launched in 2016, brings together some of the world’s most innovative designers, exploring how design affects our everyday lives. This year’s theme is Emotional States, investigating the link between design, emotion and experience.

The theme is deliberately broad, revolving around a globally shared experience. Various installations will delve into happiness and anger, sadness and disgust. “Together the countries’ responses to the theme will present an exciting laboratory of ideas that will investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs,” organisers reveal.

London Design Biennale will allow visitors to engage with some of the world’s most renowned architects, designers, scientists, writers and other artists.

The event will take place at London’s stunning Somerset House, described by organisers at the launch event as a space where art is imagined. Two of this year’s entries are curated by teams based at the capital’s location.

Compared to the World Cup and the Olympics by British designer and organiser John Sorrell, he goes on to express his excitement of the prospect of over 200 languages being spoken across Somerset House during the exhibition’s September run.

Throughout the three weeks of the exhibition, running from the 4 – 23 September 2018, an International Jury will be looking for the most significant contributions to be awarded London Design Biennale medals. Visitors will also have their own say, ultimately awarding the People’s Choice medal to one national or city entry.

The exhibition

Artistic Director Chris Turner celebrates the universal theme of emotion, introducing a selection of the installations curated in part by major global museums. The project range from the hard-hitting to the celebratory, including Guatamala’s political action in colour and Poland’s exploration of their turbulent history through the display of ten socially charged objects.

A proportion of the installations and exhibits will be interactive and immersive, including Beirut’s Silent Room; a sensory experience that removes background noise in the heart of London.

Many designers have interpreted the theme to represent our current emotionally turbulent times, Chris Turner goes on the explain, however not all. Visitors will be able to write hidden messages on Latvia’s impressive condensation wall, while the Canadian exhibit traces the country’s town names that refer to emotions.

Australia promises an immersive and visceral experience surrounding the emotion of love.

In all, Somerset House will host a vibrant mixture of small and large exhibitions, from interactive and immersive to innovative multimedia experiences.

Dive inside the Argentinian project in this video shared on London Design Biennale’s official Instagram account:

London Design Biennale opens its doors from 4 – 23 September 2018 with various entry times available for each date, including a selection of morning, afternoon or lates.

Tickets for London Design Biennale 2018 are available now through