10 Interactive Installations To See During London Design Biennale 2018 – London Design Biennale (4-23 September) returns for its second edition, this one exploring the theme of ‘emotional states’. Just like the World Cup, it gathers 40 countries, cities and territories that are taking part in the event at the cultural hub Somerset House. Following its 2016 inauguration, the project has expanded covering every continent except Antarctica, and the works explore issues from sustainability to pollution in the form of immersive installations. Take a look now at the 10 most innovative interactive designs to keep an eye out for during London Design Biennale 2018.
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Flynn TalbotFollowing Talbot’s immersive light installation
at the V&A Museum
during London Design Festival 2017
last year, the designer returns with another technicolour experience, this time encapsulating the happiness surrounding the recent Australian same-sex marriage legislation. Made up of 150 hanging optic fibre strands, the installation will produce an interactive rainbow that visitors can meander through and engage with.
Designer: David Elia
Offering a taster of the breathtaking beauty of the Amazon rainforest is Elia’s organic installation. The project addresses the issue of deforestation in the country and depicts the ecosystem with Elia’s Desmatamento chairs (2013), symbolising tree trunks found in the Mata Atlântica rainforest. Standing out is a blue pigment that signifies the conservation mark used by forest wardens to indicate trees that are to be saved, giving guests an insight into the sustainable steps the country are taking.
Designer: Biome Collective
The Scottish city is fast approaching the opening of its Kengo Kuma-designed V&A Museum, and their biennale pavilion aims to be just as impactful. The installation will investigate whether video games can help to start young people talk about their mental health. Shpeel invites individuals to share their emotions via gaming techniques and 360-degree sound and animation. The technology then produces an avatar that imitates these feelings, giving people an alternative communicative therapy to words.
Matter to Matter
Designer: Arthur Analts (Variant Studio)The Latvian participation will embrace the country’s harmony between nature and design, and the development of technology in the 21st century. A glass condensation wall reflecting the humidity of the country’s capital of Riga will allow visitors to write messages as a form of meditation. The wall will be paired with a floor made from Latvian bark and a bench from birch that references the country’s forestry.
Designer: Studio INI led by Nassia Inglessis, Lead Designer and Engineer with team E. Brial, M. Vordonarakis, L. Walker, N. L’ Huiller, A. Yioti and with Neiheiser Argyros, C. Hornzee-Jones, Elliott Wood Partnership Ltd.Somerset House-based Studio INI will launch a kinetic installation in the courtyard that reacts to movement. Exploring ideas of disobedience that date back to Ancient Greece, the responsive work expands and contracts depending on an individual’s motions, acting as a gateway to their emotions or ‘a physical megaphone.’ During the biennale, performances will take place showcasing the dynamic possibilities of the piece.
The Silent Room
Designer: Nathalie Harb in collaboration with BÜF and 21dBThis year’s Lebanese contribution explores the effect of noise pollution on our emotional state. By creating a room insulated from noise, they are offering guests an experience that is becoming more of a life luxury: silence. The structure will live on the Embankment terrace of Somerset House and will act as an area to repose and connect with thoughts.
Maps of Defiance
Designer: Forensic ArchitectureMaps of Defiance will use Forensic Architecture’s investigative software to present 3D models of land destroyed by terrorist organisation Daesh (Islamic State). The thought-provoking display is a result of the collective’s work with individuals of the Sinjar area of Iraq who have documented evidence of destruction and genocide; the exhibition promises an intriguing view of how design can inform investigation.
State of Indigo
Curator: Priya Khanchandani
A series of films exploring the production line of indigo dye will be the focus of the Indian installation. The rigorous process used to generate the unique pigment will mimic the hardworking nature of the republic’s design industry, in particular the natural techniques and hard labour.
Designer: Tabanlıoğlu Architects
The Istanbul-based practice are questioning humans’ emotional connection to the home with a white pavilion. Originally created for the Interni ‘House In Motion’ exhibition at Salone del Mobile 2018, the structure is developed using white rods to build a cubic shape with gaps that makes the ‘home’ appear transient. Inside, a comforting environment will be created for visitors to relax, and at night, the exterior will light up to become even more alluring.
Curator: Mohamed Elshahed
Egypt’s entry sees the editors of Al Emara, the first Arabic-language design magazine (1939-1959), recreate the lost culture of the country, and its modernism monuments. Using the magazine’s archival content and an accompanying video of the house of architect Sayed Karim who founded Al Emara, they will educate visitors with a celebration of Egypt’s modernist past.