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Sign of change

Designers Activists

Contemporary Art | Last Friday, young people across the globe marched to declare Climate Emergency; thousands of colorful banners filled the streets of London. Echoing Greta Thunberg’s speech, this year’s Brompton Design District theme is Nature/Nurture

Kengo Kuma, Bamboo Ring, 2019 © Courtesy of OPPO, London Design Festival / Photo: Ed Reeve
Kengo Kuma, Bamboo Ring, 2019
© Courtesy of OPPO, London Design Festival / Photo: Ed Reeve

A double reflection on a process of creation and manufacturing ethical, sustainable, responsible and the imperative of mobilization.
From the bamboo ring installation by Kengo Kuma at the Victoria & Albert Museum; to the insect shelters of Marlène Huissoud. The festival inscribes a reconnection with the environment.

Kuma presents a new materiality with its bamboo and carbon fiber ring. Together, they form a light and extremely strong structure, able to withstand earthquakes. Marlène Huissoud creates sculptural shelters to encourage biodiversity in the city.

Marlene Huissoud, Please Stand By, 2019 © Crédit de l'artiste
Marlene Huissoud, Please Stand By, 2019
© Crédit de l'artiste

Tom Dixon, winner of this year’s London Design Medal, takes the visitor on a sensory journey Touchy Smelly Feely Noisy Tasty through a series of lectures and workshops where he explores up to his sixth sense. Tate Modern organizes banner creation sessions.

Mint Gallery presents a « Raw » approach to sustainability and circular design, featuring established designers and new talent. Artists cross borders, imagine hybrid furniture. A volcanic tuff shelf, a type of rock formed from ash after a volcanic eruption faces a chair where plants grow from within. Anthropomorphic figures converse with dreamlike paintings.

The source, A Space, 2019 © Credit Mint gallery
The source, A Space, 2019
© Credit Mint gallery

The entire program of the festival teaches us how to see again. The trip is introspective. Kalostatis, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, explores the workings of our most vital organ : the heart. Making visible the beauty and complexity of its constant flow and movement. In the Void, Dan Tobin Smith immerses the public inside precious stones between nature and design. In brilliant projections of Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds dating back millions of years, the atmosphere is futuristic.

The Void, Projections digitales, 2019 © Credit Dan Tobin Smithb 2019
The Void, Projections digitales, 2019
© Credit Dan Tobin Smithb 2019

From architectural projects to cellular designs, the London Design Festival recalls the Eames brothers movie, Powers of Ten, illustrating the universe as an arena of continuity and change, daily picnics and cosmic mystery. Seismograph-like artists warn of the massive destruction by the planet’s man and invite to react. We hear the terms Biodesign, Green Design, Considerate-Design,
Maybe it’s time to call it Design.

Chloé Valorso
Publié le 27/09/2019
Copyright © Observatoire de l'art contemporain - Tous droits réservés
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Kengo Kuma, Bamboo Ring, 2019 © Courtesy of OPPO, London Design Festival / Photo: Ed Reeve

Kengo Kuma, Bamboo Ring, 2019
© Courtesy of OPPO, London Design Festival / Photo: Ed Reeve

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