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37 visions of Utopia by Design unveiled

First ever London Design Biennale is now open at Somerset House for three weeks

The first ever London Design Biennale is now open to the public for a three-week take-over at the Somerset House.

Installations, artworks, prototypes and designs from 37 countries and territories - among those Norway and Sweden - have come together in an entertaining and inspiring exploration of the role of design in our collective futures.

Visitors will interact with brand new work by world-leading architects, designers, scientists, writers and artists in a broad, vibrant exhibition that includes large-scale kinetic sculpture, immersive digital installations, culinary pop-ups, performances and VR renderings of the future.

Each exhibit is a response to the Biennale’s 2016 theme ‘Utopia by Design’, chosen as part of Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, to mark the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s text.

The resulting commissions are richly varied, including fantastical imaginings of future cities, homages to unrealised utopian proposals of the past, and innovative solutions for issues in 21st-century life.

Underlying much of the Biennale are a number of pressing, universal issues that designers around the world are seeking to address, among them sustainability, migration and conflict, pollution, technological innovation, water scarcity and social equality.

- When we set our inaugural theme, Utopia by Design, we hoped to engage with some of the most fundamental issues faced by humanity today. How might the critical and optimistic imaginations of designers transform our future world, and how do perspectives differ across the globe?, says Dr. Christopher Turner, director of the London Design Biennale.

The Norwegian exhibition aims to demonstrate the value of a people-centered strategy for innovation and displays projects that provide a snapshot of the developing practice of inclusive design - based on St. Olavs Hospital, Bergen Light Rail, Bergen University College and Scandic Oslo Airport.

The focus of Sweden’ s showcase will be a new collaborative model balancing great design and excellent traditional manufacturing methods to produce experimental pieces pushing the boundaries.


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