London Design Biennale UK entry announcement April 2018

Forensic Architecture to represent UK at second London Design Biennale at Somerset House, inspired by theme ‘Emotional States’

London, UK -- London Design Biennale announced today that the V&A will curate the UK entry and have collaborated with UK-based Forensic Architecture, an independent research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, to design the UK pavilion at the celebrated exhibition at Somerset House, 4-23 September. Forensic Architecture’s interdisciplinary team of investigators, including filmmakers, software developers, archaeologists, lawyers, journalists and architects, will show how innovative methods of digital design and image capture can enable on-the-ground DIY cultural heritage documentation and preservation.

Working in the Sinjar area of Iraq, Forensic Architecture will support and train members of the Yazidi people to collect, document and preserve evidence of destruction, genocide and enslavement perpetrated by Daesh (Islamic State) against the Yazda. 3D models of the sites destroyed by Daesh will be constructed using aerial photography and photogrammetry and will serve as valuable pieces of evidence for future litigation. The visually, intellectually and emotionally arresting installation proposed by Forensic Architecture responds to the theme of Emotional States by examining how design can directly inform new perspectives and lines of investigation.

The exhibition will present the process by which these images are collected and reconstructed, alongside the objects used in the training of Iraqi citizens such as rigs made from kites, plastic bottles and helium balloons. In addition, it will explore the role digital cultural preservation has played in communities who have recently experienced trauma. V&A Co-Curators Natalie Kane and Brendan Cormier explain, ‘We are thrilled to be bringing a new investigation by Forensic Architecture to London Design Biennale 2018. This project continues the V&A’s exploration of digital reconstruction and cultural heritage,and interrogates the role that digital design can have in society today. Forensic Architecture are world-leaders in this discipline, and we look forward to our collaboration.’ Founder of Forensic Architecture, Professor Eyal Weizman, says, ‘Forensic Architecture is delighted to collaborate with the Design, Architecture and Digital Department at the V&A to produce an exhibit for London Design Biennale. The research project that will be displayed is also an important piece of evidence that will hopefully help bring the perpetrators of these war crimes to account’. London Design Biennale 2018 will see design installations from countries, cities and territories from six continents bringing visions of Emotional States to Somerset House, London.

Building on the enormous success of the inaugural London Design Biennale in 2016, this prestigious event is a highlight on the global cultural calendar, welcoming the world’s most exciting and ambitious designers, innovators and cultural bodies to the capital. It will celebrate the universal power of design and explore the role of design in our collective futures.

In addition, further countries have been confirmed as participants. They are: Colombia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. They join Argentina, Austria, Canada, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Israel, Kenya, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA.

Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, the exhibition will see the world’s nations presenting newly commissioned works in contemporary design, designled innovation 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, and how it 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.

Tickets now on sale
Tickets for London Design Biennale 2018 are now on sale:

See It First tickets: A limited amount of See It First tickets are available with up to 20% off until the end of April.


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For further information, please contact: +44 207 907 7130
Patricia Gill at Exposure:
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About London Design Biennale
London Design Biennale 2018 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 CBE, President Ben Evans, Executive Director London Design Biennale’s International Advisory Committee and Jury 2018: Paola Antonelli, Adelia Borges, Dr Tristram Hunt, Hadeel Ibrahim, Mitra
Khoubrou, James Lingwood MBE, Ana Elena Mallet, Professor Jeremy Myerson, Kayoko Ota, Jonathan Reekie CBE, Lord Richard Rogers of Riverside CH, Sir John Sorrell CBE, Ben Evans, Dr Christopher Turner.

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 3.2 million visitors every year.

About Forensic Architecture
Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, Forensic Architecture was founded by Israeli-British architect and academic Eyal Weizman. The practice aims to reconstruct the conditions of a moment of violence in order to present evidence on behalf of the dispossessed and the politically powerless at trials, commissions and working with human rights lawyers and NGOs. Forensic Architecture is also an emergent academic field developed at Goldsmiths. It refers to the production and presentation of architectural evidence – buildings and urban environments and their media representations.

About the V&A
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.

About the V&A’s Department for Design, Architecture and Digital

The Department for Design, Architecture and Digital is dedicated to enhancing the V&A’s reputation as the UK's leading public resource for the study of contemporary design and its impact on society, and for stimulating new modes of collection, curation and public engagement. The department is also responsible for the Museum’s Rapid Response Gallery, which displays items collected as evidence of social, political and economic change, forming a permanent legacy of objects that represent the world we live in today. As the home of the national collection of architecture, the V&A holds monumental plastercasts, largescale architectural fragments and entire historic rooms as well as models, drawings and sketchbooks by major British and international architects.

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