The first group of participating countries in the 2018 edition of the London Design Biennale have been named, including the UK, Latvia, Israel, Norway, Lebanon and Guatemala.
Taking place at Somerset House in Central London, the biennale will see designers, architects, artists, scientists and writers from over 40 countries and territories create newly commissioned works that span contemporary design, design-led innovation and research.
All of the installations will explore the theme of “Emotional States”, and will focus on areas as varied as sustainability and social equality. Guatemala’s contribution will see Lake Atitlán and the Santa Catarina Palopó area of the country recreated in installation form, as a nod to how design is being used there to promote sustainable economic and cultural development.
Designer Fouad Elkoury will reinterpret the cityscape of Beirut for Lebanon’s entry, which will comprise a digital projection onto a 360-degree surrounding structure, while visitors will be able to interact with a robot via a classroom-inspired gaming platform by Norway.
Latvia will highlight the natural phenomenon of condensation in digital form, creating a glass surface that can be marked temporarily with messages, prints or other marks. Israel will take a slightly different approach, inviting a different curator and three or four designers from different sectors to explore various aspects of Israeli identity, culture and society during the course of the biennale.
The event organisers have also announced that the UK entry will be curated by the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum for the second time running,
The inaugural London Design Biennale in 2016 saw 37 countries from six continents take part. Their works were based on the theme of Utopia by Design, coinciding with Somerset House’s broader Utopia season that marked the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s text Utopia.
The London Design Biennale 2018 will run from 4-23 September 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.