For the first year takes place the London Design Biennale this month at the Somerset House. Installation from 37 countries around the world will showcase their idea of Utopia.
The exhibits look at existing and future solution to create an idealistic and happier world, like wise more hypothetical interpretations of utopia.
The exhibition is held at the Somerset House, the venue is fantastic and partly make the Biennale itself.
Some of the installation are really connected to the main topic, really imaginative some more provoking and difficult to understand…
While some of the installations appear convoluted and tenuously linked to the theme, there is also imaginative, thought-provoking and intuitive work, which proves design’s role in both tackling world issues, and helping to highlight them.
Here are my favorite from the show:
Japan: A Journey Around the Neighbourhood Globe
By Yasuhiro Suzuki
Japan’s offers a clever look at how design can be interpreted in alternative ways.
The Artist Yasuhiro Suzuki bases his piece on the Japanese concept of “looking at one thing as if it were another” and distorts everyday objects to make them appear as different things.
Visitors will be look at strange objects which create optical illusions, such as spinning portrait images, an hollow tree stump which has water dripping into it from an unknown place in the ceiling every few seconds.
The piece looks at the endless possibilities of design, and also spreads the message that utopia can be found in being open-minded to different points of view. ( add notes from exhibition)
Lebanon: Mezzing in Lebanon
By Annabel Karim Kassar Architects
Lebanon was lucky enough to have been given the entire outdoor River Terrace space of Somerset House – the perfect setting for a colorful, authentic imitation of the streets of Beirut.
Lebanon takes on Utopia as an interactive pavilion. It looks at how utopia can sometimes be found at home and give visitors the chance to temporarily absorb themselves within the culture of the country.
Visitors can expect a microcosm of Beirut – authentic food and orange juice stalls, a barber, a cinema filled with hand-made mattresses and carpets and an area where they can play backgammon. A giant map of the city covers the floor, a reference to the fact that the city was until recently mainly navigated by landmarks rather than its map system.
Turkey: The Wish Machine
Turkey’s modern-day wishing well is a simple but poignant way of inspiring hope in a country which has been at the pinnacle of the migrant crisis.
Visitors can write their wish on a piece of paper, roll it up and slip it inside a futuristic pod, then step across a tunnel of transparent hexagonal tubes to drop it into the suction-powered machine.
They’ll then see it spiral through the tubes, and even make its way around the West Wing of Somerset House, where the tubes have been laced across the walls.
The destination of the messages is unknown. The installation incites hope and consideration for others through design. It brings an ancient concept ” make a wish” into 2016 and openly invites visitors to interact with the display.
The London Design Biennale takes place at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA from 7-27 September.
Special thanks to Damn Magazine to invite me to the London Design Biennale and take part at their event organized by the Belgian Embassy at the Somerset Terrace!