London Design Biennale 2021


London Design Biennale invites countries, territories and cities together for a global gathering of design.

This year some of the world’s most ambitious and imaginative designers and curators respond to Es Devlin’s theme of Resonance with pavilions set across the historic location of Somerset House. Below we highlight some of our favourite displays.

Forest for Change

Es Devlin, Forest for Change designer and Artistic Director of the Biennale, was told that trees had been forbidden from the courtyard at Somerset House when the building was originally conceived 250 years ago. When designing this year’s Biennale, Es decided to “counter this attitude of human dominance over nature, by allowing a forest to overtake the entire courtyard.” In Forest for Change visitors will be taken through a journey on which they discover the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development – an ambitious plan to eradicate poverty, inequality and climate change.

Quiet Garden

Ruup & Form presents Quiet Garden in collaboration with Naomi McIntosh, an interdisciplinary artist, living and working from Scotland. The Quiet Garden is a contemplative installation consisting of suspended wooden sculptures drawing inspiration from natural elements. This installation has been developed with sustainability at its core and aimed to respond to nature’s resonance – a symphony of silence and sound. The magical sinuous play with light and shadow, nourishing a conversation.

Tectonic Resonance

The interactive Chilean Pavilion seeks to explore the concept of resonance within ancestral lithic technologies, to think about design from the perspective of ancestral deep time and from a geological scale. Tectonic Resonances is about the sound of rocks. The team behind the Chilian Pavilion proposes the ‘sound of the stones’ as the gateway to rethink our forms of coexistence on the planet, from those first lithic technologies to today.

Matter to Matter

At the Latvian pavilion, tell your secret to lauded yet introverted writers. Sitting in creative cells, they are waiting to hear from you. See how language resonates, as these wordsmiths transform a secret into a short literary piece; or provide a response, received through a drawer. Intended as a performative living monument to the writers and literature of Latvia today, the Dainu Skapis (Cabinet of Folk Songs) – a historical object in Latvia’s cultural heritage – is given a contemporary spin.

Click here to find out more about the London Design Biennale.