London Design Biennale 2018

Leading designers from across the globe
confirmed as first tier of participating
countries and territories announced for
London Design Biennale 2018, bringing visions
of ‘Emotional States’ to Somerset House,

London, UK – Building on the enormous success of the inaugural 2016 London Design Biennale, over 40 countries and territories will be welcomed to the second edition of this prestigious global event, 4-23 September 2018, including France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, UK and USA.

A highlight on the global cultural calendar, the Biennale will see some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious designers, innovators and cultural bodies gather in the capital to celebrate the universal power of design and explore the role of design in our collective futures. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, the exhibition will see the world’s nations presenting newly commissioned works in contemporary design, design-led innovation, creativity and research in response to theme of ‘Emotional States’.

‘Emotional States’ has been chosen to provoke a broad interpretation across design disciplines, with immersive and engaging installations that interrogate how design affects every aspect of people’s lives – the way we live and how we live – but also influences our very being, emotions and experiences. Together the countries’ responses to the theme will present an
exciting laboratory of ideas that will investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs. Sustainability, migration and conflict, civic responsibility, pollution, water, social equality, and innovative solutions for issues in 21st-century life are just some of the big issues of our time being explored.

Visitors to the first London Design Biennale will interact with brand new work by world-leading architects, designers, scientists, writers and artists in a broad, vibrant exhibition that includes AI and robotics, virtual reality, large-scale sculpture, immersive digital installations, performances and renderings of the future.

A diverse group of countries from 5 continents are the first to be confirmed as participants. They are: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA.

The further tier of countries and territories will be announced in the New Year.

The UK entry will be curated for a second time by the V&A.

London Design Biennale is a ticketed event, and will take over the entirety of Somerset House, situated on the banks of the Thames in the heart of London. Tickets will go on sale in Spring 2018 at

Images can be downloaded here:



Notes to Editors:
1. Latvia will explore a natural phenomenon – condensation – to transform a technological glass surface into an interactive platform, inviting visitors to leave temporal marks, message or prints, which in a couple of minutes will naturally disappear
2. Israel will design an active multi-disciplinary, rapid response design studio responding to Israeli identity, cultural and social issues. Each week a curator and 3-4 designers from different design fields will join the studio team
3. Visitors can interact directly with a robot in a ground-breaking gaming platform which brings together AI and humans in a live classroom style environment by Norway
4. Lebanon are proposing an immersive reinterpretation of the absurdities of Beirut, a city that exists between fantasy, delusion and reality. Designer Fouad Elkoury will visualise the characteristic calamity and extraordinary Beirut cityscape by digitally projecting onto a 360 ̊ surrounding structure
5. Guatemala will recreate the deep waters of South American Lake Atitlán and geometrically formed Santa Catarina Palopó, where design is being used as a tool to promote sustainable economic and cultural development

For further information, please contact +44207 907 7130:
Patricia Gill at Exposure:
Zarah Lehman at Exposure:
Instagram: @london_design_biennale
Twitter: @londondesignbiennale

About London Design Biennale:
The 2018 London Design Biennale is devoted to the theme, Emotional States. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, including The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and River Terrace, it will explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities, and social equality. Visitors will enjoy engaging and interactive installations, innovations, artworks and proposed design solutions - all in an immersive, inspiring and entertaining tour of the world.

Sir John Sorrell is President and Ben Evans is Executive Director of the London Design Biennale.

London Design Biennale’s International Advisory committee and Jury includes: Paola Antonelli, James Lingwood, Adelia Borges, Jeremy Myerson, Sir David Adjaye, Jonathan Reekie, Ana Elena Mallet, Richard Rogers, Kayoko Ota, Tristram Hunt and Paula Scher.

About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is a historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of
a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries.
Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.