London Design Biennale has been postponed to 2021, following the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, the organisers say: “Keeping our visitors and designers safe remains our priority and given the current international travel restrictions and potential quarantine requirements, we are postponing the 2020 Biennale exhibition to 2021.”
The event will now take place in June 2021 at Somerset House. The year’s theme is Resonance, and it is curated by designer Es Devlin. Creatives from around 50 countries and territories will respond to this theme with installations and presentations. Resonance will “consider the ripple effect of ground-breaking design concepts on the way we live, and the choices we make”.
In 2018, the theme was Emotional States and in its inaugural year, designers responded to the theme of Utopia.
The jury includes senior curator of design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art Paola Antonelli and director of the London Design Biennale, Victoria Broackes.
London Design Festival 2020
The biennale was established in 2016 by John Sorrell and Ben Evans with the aim of “promoting international collaboration and the global role of design”.
Its sister festival, the annual London Design Festival, is still planned to take place 12-20 September this year, though Sorrell and Evans say that there will be a “responsible programme”.
The festival’s founders say: “Nobody knows what the situation with COVID-19 will be in six months, so we are designing an innovative responsible programme which can adapt to the situation at the time.
“For this 18th edition of the Festival, we are exploring new ideas to inspire and inform our audiences, whilst keeping them safe.”
What that might look like is still uncertain. Design events around the world have been postponed or cancelled, including Milan’s Salone del Mobile.
Sorrell and Evans continue, by saying: “We are working virtually with our partners across the city to stage a great celebration of forward-thinking design, which is full of hope.”