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Four art installations to check out at the London Design Festival 2019

Now in its 17th year, the London Design Festival will return to the English capital from September 14 to 22.

This edition will feature some 400 events that will explore the potential of design to tackle global concerns around biodiversity and sustainability.

“Now, more than ever, design has a vital role to play in creating a sustainable solution. The Festival will provide a platform for new material experimentation and discussion in a hope that it may move us one step closer towards creating a carbon neutral economy,” said Ben Evans, founder and director of the London Design Festival, in a statement.

The installation “Sea Things,” designed by architect Sam Jacob, will be placed in the grand entrance of the Victoria & Albert Museum. It features a large-scale two-way mirrored cube withan animated motion graphic suspended above entering visitors.

The project explores the role of design and technology in raising awareness about the plastic waste crisis, with a focus on the increasingly prominent problem of ocean plastics.

Alongside “Sea Things”, Jacob will be remaking seven individual water vessels from the V&A collection, using recycled and post-plastic materials.

  • Matthew McCormick's "Avalanche"
    Matthew McCormick's "Avalanche"

Meanwhile, Italian designer Martino Gamper has imagined the site-specific installation “Disco Carbonara,” on view at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross. The colorful structure, which resembles a disco ball, is inspired by the concept of a Potemkin village and made of materials that are either waste products, recycled or repurposed, as a nod to sustainability.

Canadian designer Matthew McCormick has also reflected on the effects of climate change in his latest experiential exhibit, “Avalanche.”

Built as a constricting and deceptively reflective corridor, “Avalanche” will bring a sense of entrapment and confusion to visitors discovering the installation.The exhibit will be placed on the landing of the V&A’s British Gallery in order to provoke personal reactions from each visitor passing through.

“Inspiration for this project was found in the role that human factors make in our decision-making on uncertain backcountry terrain. ‘Avalanche’ can be seen as a poetic metaphor, meant to offer an opportunity for visitors to take pause between the darkness and the light – even for just a brief moment,” McCormick said.

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has envisioned a more sustainable future for architecture in his new installation, “Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness,” which will be on view at the V&A’s John Madejski Garden.

The pliant doughnut-shaped structure has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fiber together, thereby combining traditional and modern practices.

The London Design Festival will also hold a series of talks and workshops as part of the Global Design Forum, also taking place at the V&A.

This year’s speakers include Kuma, fashion designer and environmental activist Vivienne Westwood, and Stella McCartney’s Worldwide Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Claire Bergkamp.

“Global Design Forum is a core part of the Festival. Every year it brings together some of the world’s greatest design minds to examine the innovative thinking and experimentation that is shaping our industry and the world around us. Themed per day, this year will place special emphasis on the environment, sustainability, new material solutions and the future of production,” said Evans.

See additional information about the London Design Festival, which runs from September 14 to 22, on the festival’s official website.