Over 40 countries represented at London Design Biennale

Installations by Italy, Brazil, Latvia, UK, Turkey and Colombia are among the most fascinating on show

London will become an explosion of creativity between 4 and 23 September with the arrival of the London Design Biennale, with over 40 countries are set to showcase their ideas and projects inspired by the theme “Emotional States” at Somerset House. The theme was inspired by the Gallup Global Emotions Report 2017, an investigation based on 149,000 interviews conducted in 142 countries about sentiments and emotions – factors usually overlooked by traditional economic indicators.

Among the stand-out installations are those by Italy, Brazil, Latvia, UK, Turkey and Colombia. Italy will be represented by a Triennale di Milano project named “L’Architettura degli Alberi” “The Architecture of Trees“, a selection of 24 drawings based on around 20 years’ research undertaken by Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi, who want to show the importance of the bond between humans and the environment through the concept of “restorative design”.

“L’Architettura degli Alberi”, Triennale di Milano - Italy
“L’Architettura degli Alberi”, Triennale di Milano

The organic Desmatamento installation, by designer David Elia, aims to provide a taste of the breath-taking beauty of the Amazon rainforest. The project tackles the issue of deforestation in Brazil and explores the eco-system through the medium of Elia’s Desmatamento chairs, which are meant to symbolise the trunks of trees found in the Mata Atlântica rainforest.

Desmatamento di David Elia
Desmatamento by David Elia – Brazil

Latvia’s offering will focus on the country’s harmonious relationship with nature, design and the technological developments of the 21st century. Matter to Matter, by Arthus Analts, is a glass condensation wall designed to reflect the humidity of the capital city, Riga, while giving visitors the chance to write messages. The wall will be paired with a flooring of Latvia bark and a bench made from birch wood – a reference to the importance of forestry in the country.

Matter to Matter di Arthus Analts
Matter to Matter di Arthus Analts – Latvia


The UK’s entry, Maps of Defiance by Forensic Architecture, packs a real emotive punch. The installation consists of 3D models of places in Iraq that have been destroyed by the terrorist organisation Daesh and aims to show how design can be of assistance in investigations into the atrocities.

Maps of Defiance di Forensic Architecture
Maps of Defiance di Forensic Architecture

David Del Valle presents Triada, an installation whose aim is to change the perception that people have of Colombia. It hopes to show that the country is not all drugs, violence and corruption – but history, culture, identity and design too. It’s the result of a two-year project in Medellín.

Triada di David Del Valle
Triada di David Del Valle – Colombia


Last but not least, Turkey’s entry is HousEmotion by Tabanlıoğlu Architects. Originally created for the ‘House in Motion’ interior design exhibition at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair, the structure is made from white tubes formed into a cube shape, with empty sections designed to highlight the temporary nature of the home. A comfortable space will be created for visitors to relax inside, while by night the exterior of the installation will be illuminated to ramp up the wow factor.

HousEmotion è l’installazione di Tabanlıoğlu Architects
HousEmotion è l’installazione di Tabanlıoğlu Architects – Turkey