London Design Biennale, can design address the challenges of our times?

Through on-site pavilions, online sessions and art installations, this year’s exhibition at Somerset House will explore the role of international design in reshaping our future.

Exploring issues from the pandemic to climate change, from equality to migration, this year's London Design Biennale will focus on the theme “Resonance”, exhibiting international design thinking that addresses current global challenges.

For a month (June 1-27), London's Somerset House will host pavilions from six continents showcasing ground-breaking installations exploring the way we live, the choices we make, and how we can shape our future through the lenses of international design.

Therefore, the exhibition's provocation will be finding creative answers to Artistic Director Es Devlin's question: how can design provide solutions to the major challenges of our time? Countries, cities, and regions from around the world will address the matter in different ways.

Antarctica's pavilion will highlight the melting of the global ice caps through an AI-generated video installation, Guatemala will reflect on water usage with a sound installation, Ghana will focus on its colonial past while Japan will pay homage to its traditional art of Washi paper-making through a sensory experience.

The flagship of the 2021 edition will be the outdoor pavilions Forest for Change: The Global Goals Pavilion, which creates a magnificent green landscape of 400 trees in the Somerset House's courtyard. The installation aims to drive awareness to the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The 2021 edition will also include outdoor pavilions this year include Forest for Change: The Global Goals Pavilion, which will see a forest coming to Somerset House courtyard. Forest for Change will create a magnificent green landscape of 400 trees, offering a journey of discovery and interaction, with an installation in the central clearing of the forest, driving awareness of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. On the River Terrace, the Pavilion of the African Diaspora will provide a global stage for the voices of people born of the African diaspora in an architectural folly.

Other special projects include digitally displayed pavilions and online sessions, an exploration of the concept of Casbah and the MENA region's urban space led by a collective of designers, and a piece of work by artist Beatie Wolfe about the impact of humans on the planet.

More information and the full Biennale events programme will be released throughout May.

Opening image: Forest for Change: The Global Goals Pavilion, the outdoor padilion for London Design Biennale 2021 at Somerset House. Photo London Design Biennale.  

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