Featuring state-of-the-art technology, this year’s London Design Biennale (LDB) is like stepping into the future with its theme of Emotional States.
The theme encompasses how design, in addition to affecting every aspect of people’s lives, influences our emotions and experiences as well.
Projects coming from more than 40 countries address 21st-century issues such as sustainability, pollution, water and migration within the realms of artificial intelligence and robotics, virtual reality, large-scale sculpture, performance and more.
Each exhibit aims to speak to your soul to elicit emotional reactions.
An installation by Design Investigations Studio tells the story of Andrea Moser, who uses biohacking techniques to produce, grow and distribute seeds in alpine Austria, in order to examine how new tools and techniques might help empower local farming communities. Bet you didn’t think hacking a plant was even possible.
A multidisciplinary team is behind ‘Sensorial Estates’, which looks at Hong Kong as “a place of memory as activated through our sense of smell.” Visitors will enter environments surrounding by graphically intense, 3D-printed scratch-and-sniff wallpaper emitting scents such as egg-custard tarts, roast duck and incense.
Latvia’s presentation will use condensation to create a technological glass surface in which visitors will be able to leave their mark, albeit temporarily.
Flynn Talbot will represent Australia with ‘Full Spectrum’, a rainbow-coloured installation called that features a light screen made of 150 strands of fibre-optic light. Talbot took inspiration from the spirit of openness in his home country after same-sex marriage was legalised last year.
Canada’s pavilion, ‘The Canadians’, documents Canadian locales whose names are inspired by emotions, such as ‘Love’, ‘Saskatchewan’ and ‘Destruction Bay, Yukon’. The series is captured on camera and designed for a projector, with additional on-site elements such as a ‘forest’ of mirrored tubes.
The Argentine Pavilion visits an entirely different region, taking visitors into the Impenetrable Forest, home to the Wichi community. A textile installation will highlight the Wichis’ weaving tradition, which the team says is a reflection of their “state of mind: understanding all as a collective.”
The London Design Biennale will run from 4 to 23 September, so you have time to grab some tickets to London if you aren’t already there.