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London Design Biennale 2021

Posted by Alex Bittiner on 22 Jun 2021

This year’s London Design Biennale was curated by artistic director Es Devlin who chose Resonance as the 2021 theme.

Es Devlin on the theme of Resonance; “We live in an age of hyper resonance, the consequences of which are both exhilarating and devastating. Everything we design and everything we produce resonates. Each idea we generate has the power to reach a mass digital audience undreamt of by previous generations, while the lifespans of the physical products we create often endure long beyond our own.” “Designers, thinkers, artists and makers have the power to influence and amaze their audiences into profound shifts of perspective, using the mass networks available to them to resonate ideas and practices to help build a more sustainable future.”

The event takes place at Somerset House from the 1st-27th June and consists of installations from 29 countries as well as presentations and special projects from artists, designers, makers and research groups.
The Global Goals Pavilion ‘Forest for Change’ by Es Devlin in the centre court is free to visit and below is a collection of images and videos from my trip.


Argentina: ‘Monte Abierto’
A woven landscape made from the Simbol plant which grows in the Calchaqui valleys in Catarmarca province, Arentina, where both the designer Cristian Mohaded & artisan Lorenzo Reyes are from.


Austria: Tokens for Climate Care
Laser display of graphic symbols created by an AI model representing words and terms on the theme of climate-care.

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Chile: Tectonic Resonances
The sound of stones representing ritual instruments for sound & rhythm.

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Ghana: Amplify
Site specific installation exploring the conversation between Ghana and two former colonial rulers, Britain & Denmark through space, material, light & textures.


Greece: Together
“Enchanted, immersive scene of illuminated, embracing olive trees reflected in mirrors encouraging us to contemplate feelings of origin, connection and separation”

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Guatamala: Nostalgia
Interactive installation of light and sound  on the theme of reflections on the loss of the natural resource of water by artist Maria Adela Diaz & composer & musician Joaquin Orellana.


Hong Kong: Sandtable 沙盆推演
Interactive installation using words and symbols written in the sand to create an archive of resonance with Hong Kong through the medium of storytelling.


Japan: Reinventing Texture
Installation made with papier-mache referencing the ancient art of Washi paper-making creating a sensory experience that connects Tokyo and London.


Taiwan: Swingphony
An immersive sensory experience inspired by the ritual acts of worship and visual references to the temples in Taiwan exploring parallels between electromagnetic waves in the music created by thre changing rhythm of the metronomes and alpha waves in humans.

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Installation: Quiet Garden
The installation by Ruup & Form in collaboration with artist Naomi McIntosh responds to “nature’s resonance – a symphony of silence and sound” through the interplay of light and shadow.


The Global Goals Pavilion: Forest For Change
A forest of trees in the courtyard of Somerset House created by Es Devlin the artistic director for the 2021 Biennale & Richard Curtis.
The interactive installation encourages viewers to learn about and engage with 17 interlinked global goals adopted by the United Nations which are designed as “a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by 2030”.
The idea of the forest is in response to learning that trees were forbidden form the courtyard at Somerset House when the building was originally conceived and in her words is to “counter the attitude of human dominance to nature”

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Alex Bittiner