Yinka Ilori and Nick Ryan design “artful dodgems” for Somerset House

The central London venue’s courtyard will be taken oven by a musical installation that puts a twist on the classic fairground ride.

Somerset House has revealed a fairground-inspired dodgem installation opening this month, in collaboration with Yinka Ilori and sound designer Nick Ryan.

At the heart of the open-air Dodge installation is a “full-throttle reinvention” of the traditional dodgem experience, explains Somerset House.

The “artful dodgems” will be accompanied by an interactive musical composition entitled Bumps per Minute which has been crafted by composer Anna Meredith and sound designer Nick Ryan.

Render of the dodgem installation

Dodgem riders will be able to control this composition collectively as they race around the track, thanks to bespoke wire technology, designed in partnership with Ryan.

The individual impacts of the bumper cars will combine to create a new composition, according to the venue. “Every thump triggers explosive new musical material,” the arts venue says.

As they race, drivers will “continually manipulate” the music, which will result in an “explosive three-minute performance of electronic sound” every hour. Each of these performances will be unique, thanks to the dodgems’ movement.

Render of Dodge

The courtyard has been reimagined by Yinka Ilori, who recently designed the set and staging for the 2021 Brit Awards. The immersive display will feature a range of brightly-coloured seating booths for outdoor gathering.

While only renders are available at the moment, visitors can expect the designer’s signature optimistic and bright designs, often inspired by his British-Nigerian heritage.

There will be a range of food and drinks on offer as well as a series of DJ takeovers for late nights over the summer months.

Last month, the Somerset House courtyard was taken over by an Es Devlin-designed forest installation as the venue played host to the London Design Biennale 2021.

Dodge is set to open 15 July 2021 and for more information, you can visit the Somerset House website.

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