Turner Prize Nominee Forensic Architecture to Represent UK at Second London Design Biennale Inspired by Theme ‘Emotional States’

London Design Biennale have announced that the V&A will curate the UK entry and have collaborated with Turner Prize nominee 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, design-led 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: