London embassies display design talent from overseas

More than 50 international embassies across London are to offer a coordinated showcase of design and architecture form their countries this summer.

Croatia: Andrija Muntjakovic
Croatia: Andrija Muntjakovic

The British Council, which is behind The International Architecture and Design Showcase 2012, will run it concurrently with both the London Festival of Architecture and the London Design Festival, spanning June-September.

Shows will be held at each embassy, where a programme of exhibitions, installations, lectures and films, will unfold, looking in particular at the relationship between the built environment and cultural, technological and environmental change.

Japan: Yatai Here Yatai There. Image by Egashira Shin
Japan: Yatai Here Yatai There. Image by Egashira Shin

A set of international exhibitions are planned for the showcase opening later this month.

Urban Sports Pockets will be held at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London, SW7, an exhibition examining ‘impromptu recreation spaces’ which have appeared in London and Vienna.

Meanwhile the Italian Cultural Institute will host Pininfarina in London SW1, an exhibition paying tribute to its leading industrial designers, while the Romanian Cultural Institute and architect Vlad Tenu open installation Minimal Complexities in the atrium of Central Saint Martins.

Romanian Cultural Institute and architect Vlad Tenu: Minimal Complexities
Romanian Cultural Institute and architect Vlad Tenu: Minimal Complexities

Minimal Complexity is based on architectural research of ‘form finding and fabrication of minimal surface structures,’ according to the British Council, which says the surfaces are computer generated algorithms inspired by the ‘self-organisation’ found in nature.

The surfaces have potential application for architecture, product design and fashion. 

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is set to present Nolympics, a look at Dutch Olympic architecture that never was, including work by the practices BDP, KCAP and MVRDV. 

Iraq: AMBS Architects
Iraq: AMBS Architects

Vicky Richardson, director of architecture design and fashion at The British Council says, ‘This is the first time in London that so many countries have come together to discuss architecture and design.’

‘As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, London is in a good position to host the showcase which we hope will bring us closer to less familiar cultures and international design ideas.’

The International Architecture and Design Showcase 2012 launches on 21 June and runs until 23 September. For more information visit: www.britishcouncil.org

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